Protease activity during rice leaf senescence
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A protease activity was detected in rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. Ratna) leaves that hydrolysed hemoglobin more efficiently than bovine serum albumin. The activity was high when the enzyme was extracted and assayed with tris-maleate buffer [tris (hydroxymethyl) methyl amino-maleate] pH 7.0 rather than with water or with citrate-phosphate buffer pH 7.0. The enzyme had a strong dependence on sulfhydryl groups for its activity without which it was inaotive. The pH optimum was 7.0 and the temperature optimum was 40 °C. Protease activity expressed per unit leaf fresh weight (absolute activity) increased only little during senescence of detached rice leaves while the same activity expressed per unit soluble protein content (specific activity) increased by a greater factor (about 5 times) than absolute activity. Total and soluble protein content decreased during the senescence of detached leaves. Benzimidazole (10-3M) and kinetin (0.5xl0-5M) treatment arrested the increase of the protease activity and the deorease in the protein content during detached leaf senescence. It was indicative that protease protein was more stable than the bulk of other proteins in senescing leaves.
KeywordsProtease Activity Kinetin Soluble Protein Content Amino Nitrogen Rice Leaf
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