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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Drought-induced changes in the redox state of alpha-tocopherol, ascorbate, and the diterpene carnosic acid in chloroplasts of Labiatae species differing in carnosic acid contents.

To assess antioxidative protection by carnosic acid (CA) in combination with that of other low-molecular weight (M(r)) antioxidants (alpha-tocopherol [alpha-T] and ascorbate [Asc]) in chloroplasts, we measured endogenous concentrations of these antioxidants, their redox states, and other indicators of oxidative stress in chloroplasts of three Labiatae species, differing in their CA contents, exposed to drought stress in the field. Damage to the photosynthetic apparatus was observed neither in CA-containing species (rosemary [Rosmarinus officinalis]) and sage [Salvia officinalis]) nor in CA-free species (lemon balm [Melissa officinalis]) at relative leaf water contents between 86% and 58%, as indicated by constant maximum efficiency of photosystem II photochemistry ratios and malondialdehyde levels in chloroplasts. The three species showed significant increases in alpha-T, a shift of the redox state of alpha-T toward its reduced state, and increased Asc levels in chloroplasts under stress. Lemon balm showed the highest increases in alpha-T and Asc in chloroplasts under stress, which might compensate for the lack of CA. Besides, whereas in rosemary and sage, the redox state of CA was shifted toward its oxidized state and the redox state of Asc was kept constant, lemon balm displayed a shift of the redox state of Asc toward its oxidized state under stress. In vitro experiments showed that both CA and Asc protect alpha-T and photosynthetic membranes against oxidative damage. These results are consistent with the contention that CA, in combination with other low-M(r) antioxidants, helps to prevent oxidative damage in chloroplasts of water-stressed plants, and they show functional interdependence among different low-M(r) antioxidants in chloroplasts.[1]


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