Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The objective of this study was to determine whether exposure of plants to ozone (O3) increased the foliar levels of glucose, glucose sources, e.g., sucrose and starch, and glucose-6-phosphate (G6P), because in leaf cells, glucose is the precursor of the antioxidant, L-ascorbate, and glucose-6-phosphate is a source of NADPH needed to support antioxidant capacity. A further objective was to establish whether the response of increased levels of glucose, sucrose, starch and G6P in leaves could be correlated with a greater degree of plant tolerance to O3. Four commercially available Spinacia oleracea varieties were screened for tolerance or susceptibility to detrimental effects of O3 employing one 6.5 hour acute exposure to 25O nL O3 L-1 air during the light. One day after the termination of ozonation (29 d post emergence), leaves of the plants were monitored both for damage and for gas exchange characteristics. Cultivar Winter Bloomsdale (cv Winter) leaves were least damaged on a quantitative grading scale. The leaves of cv Nordic, the most susceptible, were approximately 2.5 times more damaged. Photosynthesis (Pn) rates in the ozonated mature leaves of cv Winter were 48.9% less, and in cv Nordic, 66.2% less than in comparable leaves of their non-ozonated controls. Stomatal conductance of leaves of ozonated plants was found not to be a factor in the lower Pn rates in the ozonated plants. At some time points in the light, leaves of ozonated cv Winter plants had significantly higher levels of glucose, sucrose, starch, G6P, G1P, pyruvate and malate than did leaves of ozonated cv Nordic plants. It was concluded that leaves of cv Winter displayed a higher tolerance to ozone mediated stress than those of cv Nordic, in part because they had higher levels of glucose and G6P that could be mobilized during diminished photosynthesis to generate antioxidants (e.g., ascorbate) and reductants (e.g., NADPH). Elevated levels of both pyruvate and malate in the leaves of ozonated cv Winter suggested an increased availability of respiratory substrates to support higher respiratory capacity needed for repair, growth, and maintenance.
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