Evaluation of procedures for assessing anti- and pro-oxidants in plant samples†
Plants as well as other aerobic organisms constantly produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). At regulated low concentrations ROS may serve as signal molecules, while in excessive amounts these may cause oxidative damage to biomolecules. Actual cellular concentrations are controlled by a network of various antioxidants, and acclimation to stress conditions is achieved by a dynamic balance of ROS production and neutralization. Accordingly, plant stress physiology studies generally include an array of methods testing the occurrence of ROS as well as evaluating antioxidant capacities. The aim of the present work is to provide an overview of these methods, with special emphasis on avoiding errors that can possibly lead to either inaccurate data or misinterpretations of otherwise correct measurements.