Non-symbiotic hemoglobin and its relation with hypoxic stress

Alejandro Riquelme1*, and Patricio Hinrichsen2
Today we know that several types of hemoglobins exist in plants. The symbiotic hemoglobins were discovered in 1939 and are only found in nodules of plants capable of symbiotically fixing atmospheric N. Another class, called non-symbiotic hemoglobin, was discovered 32 yr ago and is now thought to exist throughout the plant kingdom, being expressed in different organs and tissues. Recently the existence of another type of hemoglobin, called truncated hemoglobin, was demonstrated in plants. Although the presence of hemoglobins is widespread in the plant kingdom, their role has not yet been fully elucidated. This review discusses recent findings regarding the role of plant hemoglobins, with special emphasis on their relationship to plants adaptation to hypoxia. It also discusses the role of nitric oxide in plant cells under hypoxic conditions, since one of the functions of hemoglobin appears to be modulating nitric oxide levels in the cells.
Keywords: Anaerobic, hemoglobin, hypoxia, nitric oxide, oxygen transport.
1Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Fruticultura (CEAF), Camino Las Parcelas 882, sector Los Choapinos, Rengo, Chile. *Corresponding author (alriquel@gmail.com).2Instituto de Investigación Agropecuarias, INIA La Platina, Santa Rosa 11610, La Pintana, Santiago, Chile.