Targeted expression of Vitreoscilla haemoglobin (VHb) has been analysed in Nicotiana tabacum plants and suspension cultures under various growth and stress conditions. VHb localization to different cell compartments (cytoplasm, chloroplast and mitochondria) was successful, as judged by signal peptide cleavage. The presence of VHb in subcellular compartments did not result in phenotypical differences between these plant lines. In contrast with previous reports, we were unable to discern any significant changes in growth and other phenotypical characteristics between VHb-expressing and transformed control plants under standard growth conditions. When exposed to nitrosative stress, growth of VHb-expressing cultures was less affected relative to transformed controls. Furthermore, a diminished inactivation of the NO-sensitive enzyme aconitase was observed in the presence of VHb. In contrast, no protective effect of VHb expression against oxidative stress could be detected.
- Nicotiana tabacum
- Nitrosative stress
- Subcellular targeting
- Vitreoscilla haemoglobin (VHb)