Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 175–185 | Cite as

Effect of Salt Stress on the Regulation of Maize (Zea mays L.) Genes Involved in Polyamine Biosynthesis

  • Margarita Rodríguez-Kessler
  • Angel G. Alpuche-Solís
  • Oscar A. Ruiz
  • Juan F. Jiménez-Bremont


A cDNA for spermidine synthase (SPDS), which converts putrescine to the higher polyamine spermidine using decarboxylated S-adenosylmethionine as a cofactor, was isolated from Zea mays leaves (Zmspds2A). Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence revealed a high homology (81.9%) with Oryza sativa SPDS2. RT-PCR analyses showed that Zmspds2A was equally expressed in leaves, stem and roots. In contrast, transcripts of other genes related to polyamine biosynthesis (Zmodc, adc and samdc) showed tissue-specific regulation. The effect of salt stress on the expression of all these genes in maize leaves exposed to NaCl solutions of different concentrations was analysed. Our results showed that only Zmodc and Zmspds2A were up-regulated by salt stress; whereas the other two genes were barely affected by this treatment. In addition to Zmspds2A, a second transcript encoding a maize spermidine synthase (Zmspds2B) that also became up-regulated by salt stress, was identified. Comparison of partial cDNA sequences of transcripts Zmspds2A and Zmspds2B with the corresponding genomic DNA region revealed the existence of alternative splicing mechanism, opening a new aspect in plant polyamine biosynthesis modulation under abiotic stress.


Alternative splicing Polyamines RT-PCR Salt stress Spermidine synthase Zea mays 



arginine decarboxylase


ornithine decarboxylase


open reading frame


polymerase chain reaction




reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction




S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase




spermidine synthase




spermine synthase


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margarita Rodríguez-Kessler
    • 1
  • Angel G. Alpuche-Solís
    • 1
  • Oscar A. Ruiz
    • 2
  • Juan F. Jiménez-Bremont
    • 1
  1. 1.División de Biología MolecularInstituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y TecnológicaSan Luis Potosí, San Luis PotosíMéxico
  2. 2.Unidad de Biotecnología 1IIB-INTECH/UNSAM-CONICETProvincia de Buenos AiresArgentina

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