The Genetic Basis of Singlet Oxygen–Induced Stress Responses of Arabidopsis thaliana

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Science  12 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5699, pp. 1183-1185
DOI: 10.1126/science.1103178

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Plants under oxidative stress suffer from damages that have been interpreted as unavoidable consequences of injuries inflicted upon plants by toxic levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, this paradigm needs to be modified. Inactivation of a single gene, EXECUTER1, is sufficient to abrogate stress responses of Arabidopsis thaliana caused by the release of singlet oxygen: External conditions under which these stress responses are observed and the amounts of ROS that accumulate in plants exposed to these environmental conditions do not directly cause damages. Instead, seedling lethality and growth inhibition of mature plants result from genetic programs that are activated after the release of singlet oxygen has been perceived by the plant.

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