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Plant Physiol. Jul 1987; 84(3): 692–695.
PMCID: PMC1056652

Evaluation of Polyamine and Proline Levels during Low Temperature Acclimation of Citrus 1

Abstract

The polyamines (PA) putrescine (Put), spermidine (Spd), and spermine (Spm) were measured during 3 weeks exposure to cold hardening (15.6°C day and 4.4°C night) and nonhardening (32.2°C day and 21.1°C night) temperature regimes in three citrus cultivars: sour orange (SO) (Citrus aurantium L.), `valencia' (VAL) (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck), and rough lemon (RL) (Citrus jambhiri Lush). The changes in PA were compared to the amount of free proline, percent wood kill and percent leaf kill. A 2- to 3-fold increase in Spd concentrations were observed in hardened RL, SO, and VAL leaves compared to nonhardened leaves. Spermidine reached its highest level of approximately 200 nanomoles per gram fresh weight after 1 week of acclimation in both SO and VAL leaves, while RL spermidine content continued to increase up to the third week of acclimation. Spm levels in acclimated VAL and RL leaves increased 1- to 4-fold. However, SO leaves Spm content decreased with acclimation. Putrescine levels in SO and VAL increased 20 to 60% during the first 2 weeks of acclimation then declined after 3 weeks. RL putrescine content was not affected by cold acclimation. The data presented here provided direct relationship between increased Spd concentration and citrus cold hardiness. Free proline was 3- to 6-fold higher in acclimated than in nonacclimated trees. Results also demonstrate that in acclimated versus nonacclimated citrus trees the absolute amount rather than the ratio of increase in free proline is more important in predicting their ability to survive freezing stress.

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Selected References

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