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Activity of biochemical pH-stat enzymes in cereal root tips under oxygen deficiency

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The activity of the enzymes of alcoholic and lactic-acid fermentation: pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC, EC, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH, EC, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH, EC and the enzymes of malic acid metabolism: phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC, EC, NAD-dependent malate dehydrogenase (NAD-MDH, EC, and NADP-dependent malic enzyme (NADP-ME, EC involved in the operation of biochemical pH-stat was investigated in the root tips of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and rice (Oryza sativa L.) under hypoxia and anoxia. Exposures lasted for 6, 12, and 18 h. The most pronounced response was detected for the enzymes of alcoholic fermentation. The activation of ADH and PDC in wheat occurred only under hypoxia, whereas in rice it was detected both under hypoxia and anoxia. The activation of LDH in wheat occurred under hypoxia, and in rice, the activity of this enzyme was slightly enhanced. The activity of the enzymes of malic acid metabolism did not change except in wheat root tips under hypoxia when PEPC activity decreased and NADP-ME activity simultaneously rose. The role of biochemical pH-stat in the regulation of cytoplasmic pH in plant cells under oxygen deficit and the mechanisms for regulating the activities of enzymes involved in biochemical pH-stat are discussed as well as the interaction between biochemical pH-stat and other mechanisms maintaining pH of plant cells. The results are analyzed within a context of intracellular pH regulation.

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alcohol dehydrogenase


lactate dehydrogenase


dependent malate dehydrogenase


dependent decarboxylating malate dehydrogenase (malic enzyme)


nucleotide triphosphates


pyruvate decarboxylase


phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase

pHcyt :

cytoplasmic pH


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Correspondence to K. Yu. Kulichikhin.

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Original Russian Text © K.Yu. Kulichikhin, T.V. Chirkova, K.V. Fagerstedt, 2009, published in Fiziologiya Rastenii, 2009, Vol. 56, No. 3, pp. 418–430.

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Kulichikhin, K.Y., Chirkova, T.V. & Fagerstedt, K.V. Activity of biochemical pH-stat enzymes in cereal root tips under oxygen deficiency. Russ J Plant Physiol 56, 377–388 (2009).

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