Inhibition of glutathione synthesis reduces chilling tolerance in maize

Gábor Kocsy, Peter Von Ballmoos, Marianne Suter, Adrian Rüegsegger, Ulrich Galli, Gabriella Szalai, Gábor Galiba, Christian Brunold

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49 Citations (Scopus)


The role of glutathione (GSH) in protecting plants from chilling injury was analyzed in seedlings of a chilling-tolerant maize (Zea mays L.) genotype using buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), a specific inhibitor of γ-glutamylcysteine (γEC) synthetase, the first enzyme of GSH synthesis. At 25 °C, 1 mM BSO significantly increased cysteine and reduced GSH content and GSH reductase (GR: EC activity, but interestingly affected neither fresh weight nor dry weight nor relative injury. Application of BSO up to 1 mM during chilling at 5 °C reduced the fresh and dry weights of shoots and roots and increased relative injury from 10 to almost 40%. Buthionine sulfoximine also induced a decrease in GR activity of 90 and 40% in roots and shoots, respectively. Addition of GSH or γEC together with BSO to the nutrient solution protected the seedlings from the BSO effect by increasing the levels of GSH and GR activity in roots and shoots. During chilling, the level of abscisic acid increased both in controls and BSO-treated seedlings and decreased after chilling in roots and shoots of the controls and in the roots of BSO-treated seedlings, but increased in their shoots. Taken together, our results show that BSO did not reduce chilling tolerance of the maize genotype analyzed by inhibiting abscisic acid accumulation but by establishing a low level of GSH, which also induced a decrease in GR activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-536
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Abscisic acid
  • Buthionine sulfoximine
  • Cysteine
  • Glutathione
  • Glutathione reductase
  • Zea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

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    Kocsy, G., Von Ballmoos, P., Suter, M., Rüegsegger, A., Galli, U., Szalai, G., Galiba, G., & Brunold, C. (2000). Inhibition of glutathione synthesis reduces chilling tolerance in maize. Planta, 211(4), 528-536.