Light Stress and Oxidative Cell Damage in Photoautotrophic Cell Suspension of Euphorbia characias L.


A photoautotrophic cell-suspension culture of Euphorbia characias L. grown at 70 [mu]mol photons m-2 s-1 was very sensitive to light stress: the gross photosynthesis measured by using a mass spectrometric 16O2/18O2 isotope technique showed a fast decrease at a rather low light intensity of 100 [mu]mol photons m-2 s-1, far below the photosynthetic saturation level. The contribution of activated oxygen species on photosystem II photoinhibition was examined for a given light intensity. A protective effect on gross photosynthesis was observed with 1% oxygen. When light stress was applied to a methyl viologen-adapted cell suspension, photoinhibition was reduced. When 50 [mu]mol L-1 methyl viologen was added, photoinhibition was slightly enhanced. These responses suggested an involvement of superoxide radicals in the photoinhibition process of E. characias photoautotrophic cells. The long-term (16 h) effects of photoinhibition were then studied. Aldehyde (malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxyalcenals) production resulting from lipid peroxidation was stimulated in long-term stressed cells. When 50 [mu]mol L-1 methyl viologen were added, increased aldehyde production was measured. Under 1% oxygen, the aldehyde production was comparable to that of nonstressed cells. The relationship among lipid peroxidation, light intensity, and net photosynthesis suggests that aldehyde production may result from cell death provoked by a prolonged energy deficit due to the inhibition of photosynthesis.

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