Seaweed Responses to Environmental Stress: Reactive Oxygen and Antioxidative Strategies

  • Kai Bischof
  • Ralf Rautenberger
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 219)


Oxygen radicals are inevitably produced in the metabolism. In plants, as seaweeds, a major source for oxygen radical formation is photosynthesis, in particular pseudo-cyclic electron transport, also referred to as Mehler reaction. The related transfer of electrons to molecular oxygen yields the aggressive superoxide radical, which may react further to even more reactive oxygen species (ROS). This process is typically enhanced under environmental conditions resulting in restricted electron flow in photosynthesis, such as under light, temperature, salt stress, malnutrition, etc. In particular, seaweeds populating the intertidal and shallow subtidal are exposed to large amplitudes of variation of environmental conditions and may thus rely on strategies to either suppress the generation of oxygen radicals or scavenge them as fast as possible. One important process to scavenge the superoxide radical is its cleavage by superoxide dismutase (SOD), a central enzyme involved in stress response of photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic organisms. This chapter summarizes some common features of generation and scavenging of photosynthetically formed ROS in seaweeds under environmental constraints with emphasis on the spatial and temporal variability of SOD activity.


Reactive Oxygen Species NADPH Oxidase Oxidative Burst Reactive Oxygen Species Formation Reactive Oxygen Species Detoxification 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marine BotanyUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Marine Botany, Bremen Marine EcologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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