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Planta. 2012 Jun;235(6):1221-37. doi: 10.1007/s00425-011-1570-1. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Regulation of polyamine metabolism and biosynthetic gene expression during olive mature-fruit abscission.

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Department of Plant Physiology, University of Extremadura, Avda de Elvas s/n, 06006 Badajoz, Spain.


Exogenous ethylene and some inhibitors of polyamine biosynthesis can induce mature-fruit abscission in olive, which could be associated with decreased nitric oxide production as a signaling molecule. Whether H₂O₂ also plays a signaling role in mature-fruit abscission is unknown. The possible involvement of H₂O₂ and polyamine in ethylene-induced mature-fruit abscission was examined in the abscission zone and adjacent cells of two olive cultivars. Endogenous H₂O₂ showed an increase in the abscission zone during mature-fruit abscission, suggesting that accumulated H₂O₂ may participate in abscission signaling. On the other hand, we followed the expression of two genes involved in the polyamine biosynthesis pathway during mature-fruit abscission and in response to ethylene or inhibitors of ethylene and polyamine. OeSAMDC1 and OeSPDS1 were expressed differentially within and between the abscission zones of the two cultivars. OeSAMDC1 showed slightly lower expression in association with mature-fruit abscission. Furthermore, our data show that exogenous ethylene or inhibitors of polyamine encourage the free putrescine pool and decrease the soluble-conjugated spermidine, spermine, homospermidine, and cadaverine in the olive abscission zone, while ethylene inhibition by CoCl₂ increases these soluble conjugates, but does not affect free putrescine. Although the impact of these treatments on polyamine metabolism depends on the cultivar, the results confirm that the mature-fruit abscission may be accompanied by an inhibition of S-adenosyl methionine decarboxylase activity, and the promotion of putrescine synthesis in olive abscission zone, suggesting that endogenous putrescine may play a complementary role to ethylene in the normal course of mature-fruit abscission.

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