, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 107-115
Date: 27 Jul 2007

Oxidative stress and antioxidant activity as the basis of senescence in chrysanthemum florets

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Stems of chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) cv. Maghi were harvested when half of the buds showed colour and were put in distilled water at 21°C. Flowers showed visible senescence symptoms after 12–15 d. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) concentration and lipid peroxidation increased from young floret stage to the senescent stage. Activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT) showed uniform increases from young floret through to the mature stage and thereafter, declined. Among the SOD isoforms, Fe-SOD and Cu/Zn-SOD were induced during the onset of senescence. Similarly different isoforms of APX and glutathione reductase (GR) also appeared during the senescence process. The capacity of the antioxidative defence system increased during the onset of senescence but the imbalance between ROS production and antioxidant defences ultimately led to oxidative damage. It is proposed that a decrease in the activity of a number of antioxidant enzymes that normally prevent the build up of free radicals can at least partially account for the observed senescence of chrysanthemum florets.