Send to

Choose Destination
Phytochemistry. 2003 Sep;64(1):97-107.

Polyamines and plant disease.

Author information

Department of Plant Biology, Scottish Agricultural College, Ayr Campus, Auchincruive Estate, Ayr KA6 5HW, UK.


The diamine putrescine and the polyamines spermidine and spermine are found in a wide range of organisms from bacteria to plants and animals. They are basic, small molecules implicated in the promotion of plant growth and development by activating the synthesis of nucleic acids. Polyamine metabolism has long been known to be altered in plants responding to abiotic environmental stress and to undergo profound changes in plants interacting with fungal and viral pathogens. Polyamines conjugated to phenolic compounds, hydroxycinnamic acid amides (HCAAs), have been shown to accumulate in incompatible interactions between plants and a variety of pathogens, while changes in the diamine catabolic enzyme diamine oxidase suggest a role for this enzyme in the production of hydrogen peroxide during plant defence responses. More recent work has suggested a role for the free polyamine spermine in the hypersensitive response of barley to powdery mildew and particularly in tobacco to TMV. The prospects for the genetic manipulation of HCAA levels in plants as a means of both defining their role in plant defence and in the generation of disease resistant plants is discussed briefly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center