Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 86, Issue 3, pp 337–343 | Cite as

Sulfite oxidation in plant peroxisomes

  • Robert Hänsch
  • Ralf R. MendelEmail author


For a long time, occurrence and nature of sulfite oxidase activity in higher plants were controversially discussed. During primary sulfate assimilation in the chloroplast, sulfate is reduced via sulfite to organic sulfide, which is essential for cysteine biosynthesis. However, it has also been reported that sulfite can be oxidized back to sulfate, e.g. when plants were subjected to SO2 gas. Recently, work from our laboratory has identified the sulfite oxidase as the fourth member of molybdenum-enzymes in plants. Here we discuss how nature separates the two counteracting pathways – sulfate assimilation and sulfite detoxification – into two different cell organelles and we will also discuss how these two processes are coregulated.


peroxisome sulfite oxidase sulfate assimilation 



green fluorescent protein


Molybdenum cofactor


peroxisomal ZZtargeting sequence


sulfite oxidase


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyTechnical University of BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany

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