, Volume 256, Issue 5, pp 1375–1383 | Cite as

Impact of antimycin A and myxothiazol on cadmium-induced superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and nitric oxide generation in barley root tip

  • Veronika Zelinová
  • Loriana Demecsová
  • Ladislav TamásEmail author
Original Article


In order to gain more insight into the involvement of mitochondrial complex III in the Cd-induced stress, we studied the effect of complex III inhibitors, antimycin A (AA), and myxothiazol (MYXO), on the Cd-induced ROS and NO generation in the barley root tip. Short-term exposure of barley roots to either MYXO or AA provoked a dose-dependent increase in both H2O2 and NO formation. In contrast to H2O2 generation, an enhanced superoxide formation in the transition zone of the root was a characteristic feature of AA-treated roots. MYXO and AA co-treatment had an additive effect on the amount of both H2O2 and NO formed in roots. On the other hand, AA-induced superoxide formation was markedly reversed in roots co-treated with MYXO. Both AA and MYXO exacerbated the Cd-mediated H2O2 or NO generation in the root tip. On the contrary, while AA also exacerbated the Cd-induced superoxide generation, MYXO dose-dependently attenuated it. These data provide strong evidence that ROS generation, a very early symptom of Cd toxicity in roots, is originated in mitochondria. Cd, similarly to AA, generates superoxide by blocking the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) at complex III. In turn, the site of Cd-induced NO generation is not associated with complex III, but ROS formed in mitochondria at this third complex of ETC are probably responsible for enhanced NO generation in barley root under Cd stress.


Barley Cadmium Hydrogen peroxide Mitochondrion Nitric oxide Superoxide 



The authors would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful criticisms, which improved the manuscript.

Funding information

This work was supported by the Grant Agency VEGA, project No. 2/0039/16.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Botany, Plant Science and Biodiversity CentreSlovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovak Republic

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