Philip M Mullineaux and Tracy Lawson Abstract

In leaves, the functioning of many key proteins under conditions promoting oxidative stress depends to a large extent on the redox potential of the glutathione couple. Routine measurements of the glutathione pool in leaves are destructive and labor-intensive processes that tend to underestimate the redox state. Therefore, a challenge for plant scientists is to develop a tool capable of measuring the redox state of the glutathione couple spatially (at different levels of resolution) and temporally in tissues and subcellular compartments in vivo. This chapter highlights the possibilities of using redox-sensitive green fluorescence proteins (roGFPs) as real-time redox reporters for use in intact plants and focuses on practical assessments of using such bioindicators in different leaf cell types subjected to environmental change. The advantages and shortcomings of different GFP variants are discussed along with the choice of system for leaves and possible approaches to overcoming some of the problems. We consider roGFP1-12 as an ideal candidate for developing a redox reporter system in whole plants because it has several advantages over the other variants, with dual excitation peaks allowing a ratiometric approach, insensitivity to pH and halide ions, increased response times for real-time measurements, and appropriate emission wavelengths for use in leaves. We conclude that when using roGFP1-12 with specific cell promotors, it would be possible to target distinct cell compartments and tissues and monitor changes in glutathione redox state to determine the effects of reactive oxygen species on specific cellular components.

Key words: Intact leaves, glutathione pool, redox state, reporter, roGFP.

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