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Plant Mol Biol. 2009 May;70(1-2):103-12. doi: 10.1007/s11103-009-9459-0. Epub 2009 Feb 4.

Polyamines as a common source of hydrogen peroxide in host- and nonhost hypersensitive response during pathogen infection.

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Research and Education Center for Genetic Information, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara, 630-0192, Japan.


The hypersensitive response (HR) is a powerful resistance system that plants have developed against pathogen attack. There are two major pathways for HR induction; one is through recognition of the pathogen by a specific host protein, and is known as the host HR. The other is through common biochemical changes upon infection--the nonhost HR. We previously demonstrated that hydrogen peroxide derived from polyamine degradation by polyamine oxidase triggers the typical host HR in tobacco plants upon infection with tobacco mosaic virus. However, it remains to be determined whether or not polyamines are involved in the nonhost HR in tobacco, and in the host HR in other plant species. When tobacco plants were infected with Pseudomonas cichorii, a representative nonhost pathogen, transcripts for six genes encoding enzymes for polyamine metabolism were simultaneously induced, and polyamines were accumulated in apoplasts. Hydrogen peroxide was concomitantly produced and hypersensitive cell death occurred at infected sites. Silencing of polyamine oxidase by the virus-induced gene silencing method resulted in suppression of hydrogen peroxide production and in disappearance of visible hypersensitive cell death with an increase in bacterial growth. Our results indicated that polyamines served as the source of hydrogen peroxide during the nonhost HR in tobacco plants. Further analysis revealed that polyamines were accumulated in apoplasts of Arabidopsis thaliana infected with Pseudomonas syringae, and of rice infected with Magnaporthe grisea, both causing the typical host HR. As in tobacco, it is conceivable that the same mechanism operates for nonhost HR in these plants. Our present observations thus suggested that polyamines are commonly utilized as the source of hydrogen peroxide during host- and nonhost HRs in higher plants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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