In the current view of most biochemists and physiologists, the role of L-ascorbic acid (AA) in plant metabolism would be more or less confined to the scavenging of reactive oxygen species. Nevertheless many data have been collected in our and other laboratories regarding the involvement of AA in cell division, cell expansion, morphogenesis and other aspects of plant development and organization. At the present time the molecular sites of action of AA have not been completely elucidated, although AA is known to be specifically required for the activity of several 2-oxoacid dependent dioxygenases including peptidyl-prolyl-4-hydroxylase and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase, which are involved in the synthesis of hydroxyproline-containing proteins and of ethylene, respectively. Both recent findings and reappraisal of older data open new perspectives and stimulating hypotheses for research on the multiple functions of AA in plants.
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