Initiation of Runaway Cell Death in an Arabidopsis Mutant by Extracellular Superoxide

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Science  27 Sep 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5283, pp. 1853-1856
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5283.1853


Reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs) regulate apoptosis during normal development and disease in animals. ROIs are also implicated in hypersensitive resistance responses of plants against pathogens. Arabidopsislsd1 mutants exhibited impaired control of cell death in the absence of pathogen and could not control the spread of cell death once it was initiated. Superoxide was necessary and sufficient to initiate lesion formation; it accumulated before the onset of cell death and subsequently in live cells adjacent to spreading lsd1 lesions. Thus, runaway cell death seen in lsd1 plants reflected abnormal accumulation of superoxide and lack of responsiveness to signals derived from it.

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