For the expression study of antioxidant isoenzyme genes in rice (Oryza sativa L.) plants, extensive searches for genes of superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and catalase (CAT) isoforms were performed through the GenBank database. The genes for two cytosolic and one plastidic CuZn-SOD, one Fe-SOD, two Mn-SOD, two cytosolic and two chloroplastic (stromal and thylakoid) APX, and three CAT isoforms were available in japonica-type rice. These isoforms were named as cCuZn-SOD1, cCuZn-SOD2, pCuZn-SOD, Fe-SOD, Mn-SOD1, Mn-SOD2, cAPXa, cAPXb, Chl_sAPX, Chl_tAPX, CATa, CATb, and CATc, respectively. Since they shared a high degree of homology in the nucleotide and amino acid sequences, the gene-specific primers for the genes were designed directly from their full-length cDNAs found in the database except for the CATa gene. These primers were used in the RT-PCR analysis to investigate the differential expression of antioxidant isoenzyme genes in rice plants from the seeds irradiated with low doses (2, 4, 8, and 16 Gy) of gamma-radiation. The gammairradiation slightly increased the transcripts of pCuZn-SOD, while those of Fe-SOD, cAPXb, and CATb decreased. However, no substantial differences were observed in the expression of all the isoenzyme genes between the control and irradiated groups. In this study, gene specific primers for thirteen SOD, APX and CAT isoenzymes were constructed from the full-length cDNAs. The results of RT-PCR analysis obtained by using these primers suggests that the expression levels of SOD, APX, and CAT isoenzyme genes in rice seedlings were hardly affected by gamma-irradiation at the seed stage.
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