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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Hsp70 plays a role in programmed cell death during the remodelling of leaves of the lace plant (Aponogeton madagascariensis)

Rowarth, Nathan M.; Dauphinee, Adrian N.; Denbigh, Georgia L.; Gunawardena, Arunika H. L. A. N.


Lace plant leaves utilize programmed cell death (PCD) to form perforations during development. The role of heat shock proteins (Hsps) in PCD during lace plant leaf development is currently unknown. Hsp70 amounts were measured throughout lace plant leaf development, and the results indicate that it is highest before and during PCD. Increased Hsp70 amounts correlate with raised anthocyanin content and caspase-like protease (CLP) activity. To investigate the effects of Hsp70 on leaf development, whole plants were treated with either of the known regulators of PCD [reactive oxygen species (ROS) or antioxidants] or an Hsp70 inhibitor, chlorophenylethynylsulfonamide (PES-Cl). ROS treatment significantly increased Hsp70 2-fold and CLP activity in early developing leaves, but no change in anthocyanin and the number of perforations formed was observed. Antioxidant treatment significantly decreased Hsp70, anthocyanin, and CLP activity in early leaves, resulting in the fewest perforations. PES-Cl (25 mu M) treatment significantly increased Hsp70 4-fold in early leaves, while anthocyanin, superoxide, and CLP activity significantly declined, leading to fewer perforations. Results show that significantly increased (4-fold) or decreased Hsp70 amounts lead to lower anthocyanin and CLP activity, inhibiting PCD induction. Our data support the hypothesis that Hsp70 plays a role in regulating PCD at a threshold in lace plant leaf development.


Anthocyanin; antioxidants; caspase-like protease; chlorophenylethynylsulfonamide; leaf development; perforation formation; ROS

Published in

Journal of Experimental Botany
2020, Volume: 71, number: 3, pages: 907-918

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