Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 116, Issue 2–3, pp 455–464 | Cite as

Singlet oxygen-mediated signaling in plants: moving from flu to wild type reveals an increasing complexity

  • Chanhong Kim
  • Klaus Apel


Singlet oxygen (1O2)-mediated signaling has been established in the conditional fluorescent (flu) mutant of Arabidopsis. In the dark, the flu mutant accumulates free protochlorophyllide (Pchlide), a photosensitizer that in the light generates 1O2. The release of 1O2 leads to growth inhibition of mature plants and bleaching of seedlings. These 1O2-mediated responses depend on two plastid proteins, EXECUTER (EX) 1 and 2. An ex1/ex2/flu mutant accumulates in the dark Pchlide and upon illumination generates similar amounts of 1O2 as flu, but 1O2-mediated responses are abrogated in the triple mutant. The 1O2- and EX-dependent signaling pathway operates also in wild type placed under light stress. However, it does not act alone as in flu, but interacts with other signaling pathways that modulate 1O2-mediated responses. Depending on how severe the light stress is, 1O2- and EX-dependent signaling may be superimposed by 1O2-mediated signaling that does not depend on EX and is associated with photo-oxidative damage. Because of its high reactivity and short half-life, 1O2 is unlikely to be a signal that is translocated across the chloroplast envelope, but is likely to interact with other plastid components close to its site of production and to generate more stable signaling molecules during this interaction. Depending on the site of 1O2 production and the severity of stress, different signaling molecules may be expected that give rise to different 1O2-mediated responses.


Singlet oxygen-mediated signaling Executer Light stress flu mutant Arabidopsis thaliana 



We are grateful to members of our laboratory for continuous support and discussions. The work done in our group was supported by the National Institute of Health (Grant R01-GM085036 to K.A.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant ResearchIthacaUSA

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