NO Production in Plants: Nitrate Reductase Versus Nitric Oxide Synthase

  • Peter Rockel
  • Werner M. Kaiser
Part of the Progress in Botany book series (BOTANY, volume 63)


Nitric oxide (NO) is an inorganic free radical that acts as a signalling molecule with multiple biological functions in vertebrates, including vasorelaxation, neurotransmission and modulation of the immune response. Due to its lipophilicity and being a small uncharged molecule it can easily diffuse through cell membranes but also through water phases. In spite of its reactivity, its lifetime in biological systems is in the range of 5-15 s (Lancaster 1997). Production and functions of NO have been intensively studied in animal physiology, often under clinical aspects. However, during recent years, NO has also gained increasing attention in plant research. Although information available at this stage is rather limited, it indicates already the potential of NO as a multifaceted signalling compound and as both a protective or toxic agent. Here, we will only briefly review some major functions of NO in plants, and will then summarize more recent insights into NO synthesis pathways in plants.


Nitric Oxide Salicylic Acid Nitrate Reductase Scenedesmus Obliquus Soybean Leave 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Rockel
    • 1
  • Werner M. Kaiser
    • 2
  1. 1.Abt.: ICG-6Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbHJülichGermany
  2. 2.Lehrstuhl für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie und BiophysikJulius-von-Sachs-Institut für BiowissenschaftenWürzburgGermany

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