Enhanced reactive oxygen species scavenging by overproduction of superoxide dismutase and catalase delays postharvest physiological deterioration of cassava storage roots

J. Xu, X. Duan, J. Yang, J.R. Beeching, P. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Postharvest physiological deterioration (PPD) of cassava (Manihot esculenta) storage roots is the result of a rapid oxidative burst, which leads to discoloration of the vascular tissues due to the oxidation of phenolic compounds. In this study, coexpression of the reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging enzymes copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (MeCu/ZnSOD) and catalase (MeCAT1) in transgenic cassava was used to explore the intrinsic relationship between ROS scavenging and PPD occurrence. Transgenic cassava plants integrated with the expression cassette p54::MeCu/ZnSOD-35S::MeCAT1 were confirmed by Southernblot analysis. The expression of MeCu/ZnSOD and MeCAT1 was verified by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and enzymatic activity analysis both in the leaves and storage roots. Under exposure to the ROS-generating reagent methyl viologen or to hydrogen peroxide (HO), the transgenic plants showed higher enzymatic activities of SOD and CAT than the wild-type plants. Levels of malondialdehyde, chlorophyll degradation, lipid peroxidation, and HO accumulation were dramatically reduced in the transgenic lines compared with the wild type. After harvest, the storage roots of transgenic cassava lines show a delay in their PPD response of at least 10 d, accompanied by less mitochondrial oxidation and HO accumulation, compared with those of the wild type. We hypothesize that this is due to the combined ectopic expression of Cu/ZnSOD and CAT leading to an improved synergistic ROS-scavenging capacity of the roots. Our study not only sheds light
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1517-1528
Number of pages12
JournalPlant Physiology
Volume161
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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