Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 35, Issue 9, pp 2777–2787 | Cite as

Accumulation and scavenging of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide correlate with stigma maturation and pollen–stigma interaction in sunflower

  • Basudha Sharma
  • S. C. Bhatla
Original Paper


During the course of stigma development in sunflower (bud, staminate and pistillate stages), correlation is evident among the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide (NO), and the activities of ROS scavenging enzymes [superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD)]. Confocal image analysis shows a gradual increase in ROS and NO accumulation in the stigmatic papillae, which may provide immunity to the developing stigma and function as signalling molecules. A novel, NO-specific probe (MNIP-Cu) has been employed for the detection and quantification of intracellular NO. Mn-SOD (mitochondrial) and Cu/Zn-SOD (cytoplasmic) exhibit differential expression during the staminate stage of stigma development. An increase in total SOD activity at the staminate stage is followed by a peak of POD activity during pistillate stage, thereby indicating the sequential action of the two enzymes in scavenging ROS. An increase in the number of POD isoforms is observed with the passage of stigma development (from three at bud stage to seven at pistillate stage), and two POD isoforms are unique to pistillate stage, thereby highlighting their role in ROS scavenging mechanism. ROS and NO accumulation exhibit reverse trends during pollen–stigma interaction.


Helianthus annuus Nitric oxide Peroxidase Pollen Pollen-stigma interaction Superoxide dismutase Stigma development 



Thanks are due to Dr. Rashmi Shakya for help in various ways during the course of this work. Confocal microscopic analysis of nitric oxide was undertaken at National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi. University Grants Commission, New Delhi and MM (PG) College, Modinagar provided Teacher fellowship to BS.


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Department of BotanyUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia

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