Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Oxidative stress and leaf senescence

Hatami Gigloo Sedigheh1, Mahdi Mortazavian2, Dariush Norouzian1, Mohammad Atyabi1, Azim Akbarzadeh3, Keyvan Hasanpoor4 and Masoud Ghorbani1*

Author Affiliations

1 Pasteur Institute of Iran (Research & Production complex), Department of Research and Development, 25th km Tehran Karaj Highway, Tehran, Iran

2 University of Tehran, College of Aburaihan, Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Pakdasht, Iran

3 Pasteur Institute of Iran, Department of Biotechnology, Tehran, Iran

4 University of Azad, Department of Horticulture, Takestan, Iran

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:477  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-477

Published: 2 November 2011



Senescence is an important developmental process that leads to the cell death through highly regulated genetically controlled processes in plants. Biotic and abiotic Oxidative stresses can also artificially induce senescence and increase the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) specifically in chloroplast. One of the important oxidative stresses is paraquat that induces deviation of electron from photosynthesis electron chain and lead to the production of more ROS in chloroplast. Plants have evolved special adoptive mechanism to reallocate nutrient to reproductive and juvenile organs in senescence and different oxidative stresses. Rubisco seems to be the most abundant protein in plants and is involved in many changes during senescence.


In the present study, the effects of ROS on Rubisco during senescence and oxidative stresses were evaluated by measuring photosynthesis factors such as net photosynthesis rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (G), evaporation rate (E), intra cellular CO2 concentration (Ci), fluorescence and total protein during three stages of development. Our results showed that in paraquat treated plants, CO2 assimilation is the most effective factor that refers to Rubisco damages. The highest correlation and regression coefficient belonged to Ci, while correlation coefficient between photosynthesis rate and total protein was much smaller.


It appears in the early stage of oxidative stresses such as exposing to paraquat, ROS has the most effect on Rubisco activity that induces more susceptibility to Rubisco specific protease. Moreover, Rubisco deactivation acts as an initiative signal for Rubisco degradation.

Senescence; Rubisco; reactive oxygen species; paraquat; photosynthesis; fluorescence