Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 181–189

Is nitrate reductase a major player in the plant NO (nitric oxide) game?

  • Christian Meyer
  • Unni S. Lea
  • Fiona Provan
  • Werner M. Kaiser
  • Cathrine Lillo

DOI: 10.1007/s11120-004-3548-3

Cite this article as:
Meyer, C., Lea, U.S., Provan, F. et al. Photosynth Res (2005) 83: 181. doi:10.1007/s11120-004-3548-3


Nitric oxide (NO) is a diffusible, very reactive gas that is involved in the regulation of many processes in plants. Several enzymatic sources of NO production have been identified in recent years. Nitrate reductase (NR) is one of them and it has been shown that this well-known plant protein, apart from its role in nitrate reduction and assimilation, can also catalyse the reduction of nitrite to NO. This reaction can produce large amounts of NO, or at least more than is needed for signalling, as some escape of NO to the outside medium can be detected after NR activation. A role for NO and NR in stomata functioning in response to abscisic acid has also been proposed. The question that remains is whether this NR-derived NO is a signalling molecule or the mere product of an enzymatic side reaction like the products generated by the oxygenase activity of RuBisCO.


abscisic acid nitrate reductase nitric oxide nitric oxide synthase nitrite stomata 



fresh weight


molybdenum cofactor


nitrate reductase


nitrite reductase


NO synthase


ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Meyer
    • 1
  • Unni S. Lea
    • 2
  • Fiona Provan
    • 2
  • Werner M. Kaiser
    • 3
  • Cathrine Lillo
    • 2
  1. 1.Unité de Nutrition Azotée des PlantesInstitut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, INRACedexFrance
  2. 2.School of Technology and ScienceStavanger University CollegeStavangerNorway
  3. 3.Julius-von-Sachs-Institut für Biowissenschaften, Lehrstuhl für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie und BiophysikUniversität WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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