Glucosinolate-Derived Isothiocyanates Inhibit Arabidopsis Growth and the Potency Depends on their Side Chain Structure
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Isothiocyanates (ITCs), the biologically important glucosinolate breakdown products, can present health-promoting effects, play an important role in plant defense and affect plant cellular mechanisms. Here, we evaluated the biological effects of ITCs on Arabidopsis thaliana by assessing growth parameters after long-term exposure to low concentrations of aliphatic and aromatic ITCs, ranging from 1 to 1000 µM. Treatment with the aliphatic allylisothiocyanate (allyl-ITC) led to a significant reduction of root length and fresh weight in a dose-dependent manner and affected the formation of lateral roots. To assess the importance of a hormonal crosstalk in the allyl-ITC-mediated growth reduction, the response of auxin and ethylene mutants was investigated, but our results did not allow us to confirm a role for these hormones. Aromatic ITCs generally led to a more severe growth inhibition than the aliphatic allyl-ITC. Interestingly, we observed a correlation between the length of their side chain and the effect these aromatic ITCs caused on Arabidopsis thaliana, with the greatest inhibitory effect seen for 2-phenylethyl-ITC. Root growth recovered when seedlings were removed from exposure to ITCs.