Influence of light intensity and salt-treatment on mode of photosynthesis and enzymes of the antioxidative response system of Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
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The metabolic switch From C-3-photosynthesis to crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM),and the antioxidative response of Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L. plants cultured under severe salt stress and high light intensities, and a combination of booth stress conditions, were studied. High light conditions led to a more rapid CAM induction than salinity. The induction time was still shortened when both stress factors were combined. A main pattern observed in CAM plants was a decrease in mitochondrial Mn-superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity during the day. The activities of the chloroplastic Fe-SOD and cytosolic CuZn-SOD were increased due to salt treatment after a lag phase, while catalase activity was decreased. Combination of salt and light stress did not lead to a higher SOD activity as found after application of one stress factor alone, indicating that there is a threshold level of the oxidative stress response. The fact that salt-stressed plants grown under high light conditions showed permanent photoinhibition and lost the ability for nocturnal malate storage after 9 d of treatment indicate serious malfunction of metabolism, leading to accelerated senescence. Comparison of CuZn-SOD activity with CuZn-SOD protein amount, which was determined immunologically, indicates that the activity of the enzyme is at least partially post-translationally regulated.