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Purdue study finds antioxidant protects metal-eating plants

which plays a role in producing glutathione in hyperaccumulating plants.

When Salt grew both normal Arabidopsis and those containing the SAT gene on a nickel-containing medium, the normal plants failed to grow and showed signs of severe membrane damage, an indicator of oxidative stress. The plants with the inserted gene thrived, showing no signs of membrane damage.

Going one step further, Salt conducted another experiment in which he exposed the Arabidopsis containing the SAT gene to a compound that inhibits their ability to make glutathione. When grown on nickel, these plants also suffered high levels of oxidative damage, just like their normal counterparts.

"This confirms that it really is glutathione that's responsible for nickel tolerance," Freeman said.


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Contact: Jennifer Cutraro
jcutraro@purdue.edu
765-496-2050
Purdue University
1-Sep-2004


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