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The occurrence of a stable quinone radical accumulating in vivo during natural and induced senescence in a range of plants

  • George A. F. Hendry (a1), N. M. Atherton (a2), Wendy Seel (a3) and Olivier Leprince (a4)

Synopsis

A correlation has been firmly established, in a wide range of plants, between environmental stress, the onset of senescence, loss of viability in seeds and the development and accumulation of a stable organic free radical. On the basis of the EPR response obtained at 95 GHz (W-band) and ENDOR spectra, and comparisons with quinone radical anions, we present evidence from contrasted plant species, plant tissues and sub-cellular fractions that this stable radical originates from one or more quinones possibly, though perhaps not exclusively, associated with stressed or age-impaired photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport chains. The radical appears to be ubiquitously associated with sub-lethal stress-induced damage and with senescence and arises during the sub-cellular structural and biochemical processes associated with the final phases of metabolism prior to death. As the free radical persists for some considerable time after death, it may have value in long-term studies of seed viability and in broader areas of plant pathology and stress physiology.

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Atherton, N. M., Hendry, G. A. F., Mobius, K., Rohrer, M. & Torring, J. T. 1993. A free radical ubiquitously associated with senescence in plants: evidence for a quinone. Free Radical Research Communications 19, 297301.
Burghaus, O., Plato, M., Rohrer, M. & Mobius, K. 1993. 3mm high field EPR on semiquinone radical anion Q related to photosynthesis and on the primary P+ and acceptor Q-.A in reaction centers of Rhodobacter sphaeroides R-26. Journal of Physical Chemistry, 97, 7639–47.
Hendry, G. A. F. 1993. Oxygen, free radical processes and seed longevity. Seed Science Research 3, 141–54.
Seel, W., Hendry, G. A. F., Atherton, N. M. & Lee, J. A. 1991. Radical formation and accumulation in vivo in desiccation tolerant and intolerant mosses. Free Radical Research Communications 15, 133–41.

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The occurrence of a stable quinone radical accumulating in vivo during natural and induced senescence in a range of plants

  • George A. F. Hendry (a1), N. M. Atherton (a2), Wendy Seel (a3) and Olivier Leprince (a4)

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