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Planta. 2010 Aug;232(3):629-47. doi: 10.1007/s00425-010-1198-6. Epub 2010 Jun 9.

Tissue-specific expression of olive S-adenosyl methionine decarboxylase and spermidine synthase genes and polyamine metabolism during flower opening and early fruit development.

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Department of Plant Physiology, University of Extremadura, 06071 Badajoz, Spain.


Polyamines (PAs) are required for cell growth and cell division in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. The present study is aimed at understanding the developmental regulation of PA biosynthesis and catabolism during flower opening and early fruit development in relation to fruit size and shape. Two full-length cDNA clones coding for S-adenosyl methionine decarboxylase (SAMDC) and spermidine synthase (SPDS) homologs, key steps in the PA biosynthesis pathway, in the stone-fruit of olive (Olea europaea L.) were identified and the spatial and temporal organization of these genes were described. In olive flowers, OeSAMDC gene transcripts were highly expressed in ovary wall, placenta and ovules, while OeSPDS transcript was confined to the ovules of ovary at anthesis stage. A correlation was detected between the SAMDC enzyme activity/accumulation transcript and spermidine (Spd) and spermine (Spm) levels during flower opening, implying that the synthesis of decarboxylated SAM might be a rate-limiting step in Spd and Spm biosynthesis. OeSAMDC and OeSPDS transcripts were co-expressed in fruit mesocarp and exocarp at all developmental stages analyzed as well as in nucellus, integuments and inner epidermis tissues of fertilized ovules. In contrast, the OeSAMDC and OeSPDS genes had different expression patterns during early fruit development. The results provide novel data about localization of PA biosynthesis gene transcripts, indicating that transcript levels of PA biosynthesis genes are all highly regulated in a developmental and tissue-specific manner. The differences between the two olive cultivars in the fruit size in relation to the differences in the accumulation patterns of PAs are discussed.

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