Linking isoprene with plant thermotolerance, antioxidants and monoterpene emissions

J. Peñuelas, J. Llusià, D. Asensio, S. Munné-Bosch

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    The purpose of the present study was to test the possible plant thermotolerance role of isoprene and to study its relationship with non-enzymatic antioxidants and terpene emissions. The gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, extent of photo- and oxidative stress, leaf damage, mechanisms of photo- and antioxidant protection, and terpene emission were measured in leaves of Quercus ilex seedlings exposed to a ramp of temperatures of 5°C steps from 25 to 50°C growing with and without isoprene (10 μL L-1) fumigation. The results showed that isoprene actually conferred thermotolerance (shifted the decrease of net photosynthetic rates from 35 to 45°C, increased Fv/Fm at 50°C from 0.38 to 0.65, and decreased the leaf area damaged from 27 to 15%), that it precluded or delayed the enhancement of the antioxidant non-enzymatic defence conferred by α-tocopherol, ascorbic acid or β-carotene consumption in response to increasing temperatures, and that it decreased by approximately 70% the emissions of monoterpenes at the highest temperatures. This suggests that there are inducible mechanisms triggered by the initial stages of thermal damage that up-regulate these antioxidant compounds at high temperatures and that these mechanisms are somehow suppressed in the presence of exogenous isoprene, which seems to already exert an antioxidant-like behaviour. © 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)278-286
    JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005


    • Antioxidants
    • Ascorbic acid
    • F /F v m
    • Fumigation
    • High temperatures
    • Isoprene
    • Monoterpenes
    • Photosynthetic rates
    • Thermotolerance
    • Zeaxanthin
    • α-tocopherol
    • β-carotene


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