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Formation of methanethiol from methionine by leaf tissue

: Rennenberg, H.; Filner, P.; Schmidt, A.; Wilson, L.G.

Phytochemistry 24 (1985), No.6, pp.1181-1185
ISSN: 0031-9422
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IFU; 2002 in Helmholtz-Gesellschaft integriert

Leaf discs, but not detached leaves, exposed to L-methionine or S-methyl-L-cysteine emitted a volatile sulphur compound identified as methanethiol by different trapping systems and by GC. Methanethiol emission was analyzed using pumpkin leaf discs. Emission was observed in darkness or light, however methanethiol emission was greately stimulated by light. Light-dependent emission started after a lag-time of 5-6 hr with an emission peak after 36-40 hr. Maximum rates obtained were in the range of 200 pmol methanethiol/min/square cm leaf area. After a period of 42 hr about 60-80% of total methionine sulphur added was released as methanethiol. Addition of chloramphenicol did not alter the induction period nor the maximum emission rate of methanethiol in response to L-methionine. Emission was also observed in response to S-methyl-L-cysteine; however, the shorter lag-period for methanethiol formation occured in response to L-methionine. Feeding experiments with L-(S(35-isotope))methionine to leaf discs showed that more than 80% of methanethiol emitted was derived from the labelled methionine fed. These findings suggest that plants have the capacity to degrade L-methionine to methanethiol. Whole leaves fed L-methionine by the petiole systems do not emit methanethiol, but this compound is formed and transported into the feeding solution. Thus, methanethiol is also produced by the intact leaf, but, in contrast to sulphide, is not released into the atmosphere. (IFU)