Are active oxygen species involved in induction of β-carotene in Dunaliella bardawil?

Aviv Shaish, M Avron, U Pick and Ami Ben-Amotz

Planta 190(3): 363-368


ISSN/ISBN: 0032-0935
DOI: 10.1007/bf00196965
Accession: 062287771

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The purpose of this work was to test whether induction of massive β-carotene synthesis in the alga Dunaliella bardawil is triggered by oxygen radicals. The following results were obtained: (i) The induction of β-carotene synthesis is preceded by a lag period of about 4 h during which the cells swell and photosynthesis is partially inhibited, (ii) Addition of promoters of oxygen radicals or of azide (an inhibitor of catalase and superoxide dismutase) during the induction period, under conditions which are suboptimal for massive β-carotene accumulation, greatly enhances β-carotene synthesis, photodegradation of chlorophyll and inhibition of photosynthesis, (iii) High irradiance, which induces massive β-carotene accumulation, also induces a high catalase activity. It is suggested that photosynthetically produced oxygen radicals are involved in triggering massive β-carotene accumulation in D. bardawil.