Long term anaerobic metabolism in root tissue: Metabolic products of pyruvate metabolism

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  • The onset of anaerobiosis in barley root tissue (Hordeum vulgare L. cv Himalaya) results in the following metabolic responses. There are rapid increases in the levels of pyruvate, lactate, and ethanol. Malate and succinate concentrations increase over the first 12 h, after which they return to the levels found in oxygenated root tissue. Alanine concentration increases over the first 12 h, and this is matched by a corresponding decrease in aspartate. The initial stoichiometric decline in aspartate and increase in alanine suggests that the amino group of aspartate is conserved by transaminating pyruvate to alanine. Aspartate catabolism also probably provides the initial source of carbon for reduction to succinate under anoxic conditions. Under long-term anaerobiosis (>24 h), there is no further accumulation of any of the fermentative end products other than ethanol, which also represents the major metabolic end product during long-term anaerobiosis. Although a number of the enzymes involved in fermentative respiration have been found to be induced under anaerobic conditions, neither aspartate aminotransferase nor malate dehydrogenase is induced in barley root tissue. The observations suggest that the long-term adaptations to hypoxic conditions may be quite different than the more well-characterized short-term adaptations.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 1993 American Society of Plant Biologists. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Good, A.G., & Muench, D. G. (1993). Long term anaerobic metabolism in root tissue: Metabolic products of pyruvate metabolism. Plant Physiology, 101, 1163-1168.