, 46:581 | Cite as

Changes in electron transport, superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase isoenzymes in chloroplasts and mitochondria of cucumber leaves as influenced by chilling

  • W. H. Hu
  • X. S. Song
  • K. Shi
  • X. J. Xia
  • Y. H. Zhou
  • J. Q. Yu
Original Papers


In order to clarify the relationship between chill-induced disturbance in photosynthetic, respiratory electron transport and the metabolism of reactive oxygen species (ROS), leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence quenching, respiration, and activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) were investigated in chloroplasts and mitochondria of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) leaves subjected to a chill (8 °C) for 4 d. Chilling decreased net photosynthetic rate (P N) and quantum efficiency of photosystem 2 (ΦPS2), but increased the ratio of ΦPS2 to the quantum efficiency of CO2 fixation (ΦCO2) and non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) in cucumber leaves. While chilling inhibited the activity of cytochrome respiration pathway, it induced an increase of alternative respiration pathway activity and the reduction level of Q-pool. Chilling also significantly increased O2 production rate, H2O2 content, and SOD and APX activities in chloroplasts and mitochondria. There was a more significant increase in SOD and APX activities in chloroplasts than in mitochondria with the increase of membrane-bound Fe-SOD and tAPX in chloroplasts being more significant than other isoenzymes. Taken together, chilling inhibited P N and cytochrome respiratory pathway but enhanced the photosynthetic electron flux to O2 and over-reduction of respiratory electron transport chain, resulting in ROS accumulation in cucumber leaves. Meanwhile, chilling resulted in an enhancement of the protective mechanisms such as thermal dissipation, alternative respiratory pathway, and ROS-scavenging mechanisms (SODs and APXs) in chloroplasts and mitochondria.

Additional key words

ascorbate peroxidase Cucumis sativus net photosynthetic rate photosynthetic electron transport quantum efficiency reactive oxidative metabolism respiratory electron transport respiration pathways superoxide dismutase 



alternative oxidase


ascorbate peroxidase


reduced ascorbate


cytosol APX




copper-zinc SOD


iron SOD


fresh mass


microbody APX


manganese SOD


non-photochemical quenching coefficient




ubiquinone pool


net photosynthetic rate


photosynthetic electron transport chain


photosynthetic photon flux density




respiratory electron transport chain


reactive oxygen species


stromal APX


salicylhydroxamic acid


superoxide dismutase


thylakoid membrane-bound APX


the oxidized forms of ubiquinone


the reduced forms of ubiquinone


the reduction level of ubiquinone pool


alternative pathway activity


cytochome pathway activity


total respiration


the quantum efficiency of CO2 fixation


quantum efficiency of PS2


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. H. Hu
    • 1
    • 3
  • X. S. Song
    • 1
  • K. Shi
    • 1
  • X. J. Xia
    • 1
  • Y. H. Zhou
    • 1
  • J. Q. Yu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Horticulture, Huajiachi CampusZhejiang UniversityHangzhouP.R. China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plants Growth, Development and BiotechnologyAgricultural Ministry of ChinaHangzhouP.R. China
  3. 3.Department of Life ScienceJinggangshan UniversityJi’anP.R. China

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