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Review article

NO synthase? Generation of nitric oxide in plants

JOHN T. HANCOCK orcid id ; Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of the West of England, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK

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page 19-24

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It has now become well accepted that nitric oxide (NO) has a key role to play in the signalling that takes place in plant cells. However, the sources of NO in plants has been hard to determine and there is considerable debate as to exactly how NO is made by plant cells. In animals nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzymes have been characterised and such data has been used to inform the studies which have been taking place in plants. However, despite several genomes from higher plants being sequenced, there is no evidence that such species contain NOS sequences. Despite this, a recent search using algal sequences did reveal a NOS-like sequence and such a finding may spark new enthusiasm for the search for a higher plant NOS. However, considerable care needs to be taken in such studies, as the robustness of many of the inhibitors and probes which could be used in such work has been questioned. Here, some of the previous evidence that has been presented for the existence of a plant NOS, along with a discussion of how else plants may produce NO is given.


nitrate reductase; nitric oxide; nitric oxide synthase; reactive oxygen species; signal transduction

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