Nitric oxide affecting root growth, lignification and related enzymes in soybean seedlings
This study analyzed the involvement of nitric oxide (NO) in the root lignification of soybean seedlings. To this end, changes in root cell viability; phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and soluble and cell wall bound peroxidase (POD) activities and lignin and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) contents of soybean roots treated with the NO-donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and its relationships with root growth were evaluated. Seedlings were cultivated in a nutrient solution supplemented with 5 to 1,000 μM SNP for 24 h. At an extremely low concentration (5 μM), SNP induced root growth and increased lignification and activities of related enzymes (PAL and cell wall-bound POD). At a high concentration (1,000 μM), SNP reduced root growth and lignification (PAL activity and H2O2 and lignin contents) and caused a loss of cell viability. Application of potassium ferrocyanide (an analog of SNP that cannot release NO) and PTIO (2-phenyl-4,4,5,5,-tetramethylimidazoleline-1-oxyl-3-oxide, a scavenger of NO) revealed that the inhibitory/stimulatory effects on root lignification may be due to NO itself. These results indicate that NO, depending on its concentration, may act as a stress factor, due to its toxic action, or as a signal molecule, inducing soybean root growth and lignification.