Induction of Alcohol Dehydrogenase and Lactate Dehydrogenase in Hypoxically Induced Barley

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Plant Physiology





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In barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) are induced by anaerobiosis in both aleurone layers and roots. Under aerobic conditions, developing seeds of cv Himalaya accumulate ADH activity, which survives seed drying and rehydration. This activity consists almost entirely of the ADH1 homodimer. Activity of LDH also increases during seed development, but the level of activity in dry or rehydrated seeds is very low, indicating that this enzyme may not be involved in anaerobic glycolysis during the initial stages of germination. In contrast to ADH, the LDH isozymes present in developing seeds are similar to those found in uninduced and induced roots. Developmental expression of ADH and LDH was monitored from 0 to 24 days postgermination. Neither activity was induced to any extent in the germinating seeds; however, both enzymes were highly induced by anoxia in root tissue during development. Based on gel electrophoresis, this increase in activity results from the differential expression of different Adh and Ldh genes in root tissue. The changes in ADH and LDH activity levels were matched by changes in the amount of these particular proteins, indicating that the increase in activity results from de novo synthesis of these two proteins. The level of inducible LDH activity in an ADH1− mutant was not found to differ from cv Himalaya. We suggest that although the ADH− plants are more susceptible to flooding, they are not capable of responding to the lack of ADH1 activity by increasing the amount of LDH activity in root tissue.