Perturbation of polyamine catabolism can strongly affect root development and xylem differentiation

Alessandra Tisi, Rodolfo Federico, Sandra Moreno, Sergio Lucretti, Panagiotis N. Moschou, Kalliopi A. Roubelakis-Angelakis, Riccardo Angelini, Alessandra Cona

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Spermidine (Spd) treatment inhibited root cell elongation, promoted deposition of phenolics in cell walls of rhizodermis, xylem elements, and vascular parenchyma, and resulted in a higher number of cells resting in G1and G2phases in the maize (Zea mays) primary root apex. Furthermore, Spd treatment induced nuclear condensation and DNA fragmentation as well as precocious differentiation and cell death in both early metaxylem and late metaxylem precursors. Treatment with either N-prenylagmatine, a selective inhibitor of polyamine oxidase (PAO) enzyme activity, or N,N1-dimethylthiourea, a hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) scavenger, reverted Spd-induced autofluorescence intensification, DNA fragmentation, inhibition of root cell elongation, as well as reduction of percentage of nuclei in S phase. Transmission electron microscopy showed that N-prenylagmatine inhibited the differentiation of the secondary wall of early and late metaxylem elements, and xylem parenchymal cells. Moreover, although root growth and xylem differentiation in antisense PAO tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants were unaltered, overexpression of maize PAO (SZmPAO) as well as down-regulation of the gene encoding S-adenosyl-L-methionine decarboxylase via RNAi in tobacco plants promoted vascular cell differentiation and induced programmed cell death in root cap cells. Furthermore, following Spd treatment in maize and ZmPAO overexpression in tobacco, the in vivo H2O2production was enhanced in xylem tissues. Overall, our results suggest that, after Spd supply or PAO overexpression, H2O2derived from polyamine catabolism behaves as a signal for secondary wall deposition and for induction of developmental programmed cell death. © 2011 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200 - 215
Number of pages16
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Tisi, A., Federico, R., Moreno, S., Lucretti, S., Moschou, P. N., Roubelakis-Angelakis, K. A., Angelini, R., & Cona, A. (2011). Perturbation of polyamine catabolism can strongly affect root development and xylem differentiation. Plant Physiology, 157(1), 200 - 215.