Polyamines in Helianthus annuus L. during Germination under Salt Stress
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The level of the three main polyamines putrescine, spermidine, and spermine and the biosynthetic enzyme arginine decarboxylase (ADC) decreased in Helianthus annuus L. seedlings subjected to increasing (50, 100, and 150 mm) NaCl concentrations. The pattern of polyamines in control plants increased during the initial 72 h and then reached a plateau. The putrescine level showed an increase of 370% after 72 h of development. The lower salt treatment slightly diminished the overall polyamine content. The highest NaCl concentration (150 mm) induced a strong putrescine diminution (from 381 to 78.9 nmol g−1 FW) at 72 h whereas a small decrease in ADC activity was detected. ODC was detected in neither control nor treated plantlets during the experimental period. The level of spermidine also decreased, but the magnitude of the decay was less pronounced than putrescine. The fact that ODC was not detected and ADC activity followed a pattern similar to that of putrescine led us to suppose that the variation in putrescine content could be attributed entirely to the decrease in ADC activity. α-Difluoromethylarginine and α-difluoromethylornithine (ADC and ODC inhibitor, respectively) did not inhibit but delayed the onset of germination of sunflower seeds, and α-difluoromethylornithine increased the content of spermidine and spermine. The present data suggest that polyamines could be involved in the germination process of H. annuus seeds and in response to salt stress.
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