Microcystin-RR-induced apoptosis in tobacco BY-2 cells

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Our previous studies showed that microcystin-RR could induce oxidative damage in plant cells as they do with animal cells. However, whether microcystin can induce plant cell apoptosis is still unknown. In this study, the morphological changes of tobacco BY-2 suspension cells exposed to microcystin-RR were observed under light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, and apoptosis was clearly distinguished by intense perinuclear chromatin margination, condensation of nuclear chromatin after 6 d exposure of 50 mg/L (about 50 μM) microcystin-RR. We also found that microcystin-RR can induce tobacco cell apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner with flow cytometry analysis. Our study provides the first evidence that microcystins can induce plant cell apoptosis.

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