Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article
|Journal publication date||2009|
|Journal||Plant, Cell and Environment|
|Number of pages||12|
Isoprene emission represents a significant loss of carbon to those plant species that synthesize this highly volatile and reactive compound. As a tool for studying the role of isoprene in plant physiology and biochemistry, we developed transgenic tobacco plants capable of emitting isoprene in a similar manner to and at rates comparable to a naturally emitting species. Thermotolerance of photosynthesis against transient high-temperature episodes could only be observed in lines emitting high levels of isoprene; the effect was very mild and could only be identified over repetitive stress events. However, isoprene-emitting plants were highly resistant to ozone-induced oxidative damage compared with their non-emitting azygous controls. In ozone-treated plants, accumulation of toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) was inhibited, and antioxidant levels were higher. Isoprene-emitting plants showed remarkably decreased foliar damage and higher rates of photosynthesis compared to non-emitting plants immediately following oxidative stress events. An inhibition of hydrogen peroxide accumulation in isoprene-emitting plants may stall the programmed cell death response which would otherwise lead to foliar necrosis. These results demonstrate that endogenously produced isoprene provides protection from oxidative damage.