The cost and risk of using sodium nitroprusside as a NO donor in chlorophyll fluorescence experiments

Barnabás Wodala, Attila Ördög, Ferenc Horváth

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Sodium nitroprusside (SNP) is a widely used nitric oxide (NO) donor chemical, although it has been reported to release cyanide as well as NO during its photolysis. The aim of this work was to examine this potential side effect of SNP. Chlorophyll fluorescence experiments with pea leaves showed that SNP modifies photosynthetic electron transport. The SNP-induced changes were only partially restored in the presence of a NO-specific scavenger. Moreover, a stoichiometric KCN treatment mimicked the outcome caused by the joint application of the NO donor and NO scavenger. These results confirm the cyanide release of SNP and show that both of its photolytic products reduce the photochemical activity of photosystem II in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1111
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2010



  • Chlorophyll fluorescence
  • Cyanide
  • Photosynthetic electron transport
  • SNP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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