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Free Content ROS perception in Arabidopsis thaliana: the ozone-induced calcium response

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Ozone is responsible for more crop losses than any other air pollutant. The changes in gene expression, which occur in plants in response to ozone, have been well characterized, yet little is known about how ozone is perceived or the signal transduction steps that follow. The earliest characterized response to ozone is an elevation in cytosolic-free calcium, which takes place within seconds of exposure. In this study, the calcium response to ozone was investigated in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings using a variety of fumigation protocols. Ozone elicited distinct calcium responses in the aerial tissue and roots of seedlings. The calcium response in the cotyledons and leaves was biphasic and sensitive to the rate at which the ozone concentration increased. The response in the root was monophasic and insensitive to the rate of increase in ozone concentration. Experiments utilizing inhibitors of antioxidant metabolism demonstrated that the magnitude of the first peak in calcium in the aerial tissues was dependent upon the redox status of the plant. Seedlings were shown to be able to distinguish between ozone and hydrogen peroxide, producing a calcium signal in response to one of these reactive oxygen species (ROS) when they had become refractory to the other. Pre-treatment with ozone altered the calcium response to hydrogen peroxide and vice versa, indicating that the calcium response to a given ROS may reflect the stress history of the plant. These data suggest ROS signalling is more sophisticated than previously realized and raise questions over current models of ozone perception.
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Keywords: Arabidopsis; calcium; ozone; perception; reactive oxygen species; signal transduction

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RB, UK 2: Department of Biological Sciences, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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