A. Yu. Alyab’ev, L. Kh. Gordon, V. S. Iyudin, A. A. Obynochnyi, T. I. Ogorodnikova, A. A. Ponomareva, and D. F. Rakhmatullina. 2009. Energy Exchange and Ultrastructure of Plant Cells under Generation on Nitric Oxide. Russian Journal of Plant Physiology. 58 (1) pp. 100-108 The purpose of this experiment was to study the effects that nitric oxide (NO) has on the oxygen consumption, heat generation, and cell ultrastructure of seedlings of wheat (Triticum aestivum).
NO was the molecule for testing because it has been found to be actively involved in important plant roles such as tropisms, flowering, stomatal openings, xylem formation, stress response, and adaptation. Plants produce NO in their leaves and in their roots. The conductors of this experiment are asking the question: What are the effects that NO has on plants when it is generated from an exogenous source?
I think it is safe to say that plants aren’t going anywhere and since plants are so crucial to the survival of our existence is to be grown and harvested, it is important to understand the mechanisms that are necessary to help these crops flourish. This experiment studies a molecule that could have potential to producing better crops. Since nitric oxide is associated with important roles in plants, it is plausible to hypothesize that when a plant receives this molecule from an external source, it could be beneficial to the plant.
This study was done on the roots of wheat plants so that if this molecule could increase the productivity of plants, it could somehow be made into a fertilizer. The authors of this experiment utilized the roots of 5 day old seedlings for this experiment. There were controls and experimental treatments of NaCl; NaNO2, as the donor of nitric oxide; protonophore; inhibitors of mitochondrial oxidation rotenone and antimycin; succinic acid as an oxidation substrate; and ascorbic acid as an antioxidant. After the various treatments were applied, the amounts of NO generated from the roots was detected by the electron paramagnetic resonance. Respiratory gas exchange was recorded manometrically using a Warburg apparatus. The ultrastructural changes in the cells were observed through an electron microscope. The results of this experiment were that nitric oxide did have a negative effect on the respiration of the roots.
Heat generation was also a negatively affected by the NO. The presence of the NO also caused problems with the cell structures and death to the majority of the cells in the root. Although these results did not produce the results that I’m sure the experimenters were hoping for, these results are still valuable to the further research done on plant growth and development. This study gives researchers further understanding of how nitric oxide can affect plants.
I would assume that before this study was done, it would have been a likely hypothesis that the external source of nitric oxide would have been a beneficial molecule. This experiment proves this hypothesis wrong. I find it interesting that a molecule that plants generate and are a necessary to trigger certain mechanisms can be harmful to the cell structure when it is obtained from an external source. I would like to know why this molecule slows down the gas exchange and cause the death of the cells.
I chose this article because I know the effects that nitric oxide has on humans. Nitric oxide is used as a pre-workout because it increases the blood flow to all tissues when it is ingested. This increase in blood flow promotes muscle healing when preforming strenuous activity. I thought it was interesting that the molecule that the plant produces can be harmful to the cells when it is obtained from an outside source.