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Accumulation of free polyamines enhances the antioxidant response in fruits of grafted tomato plants under water stress

Sánchez-Rodríguez, E., Romero, L., Ruiz, J.M.
Journal of plant physiology 2016 v.190 pp. 72-78
tomatoes, cultivars, fruits, catalase, reactive oxygen species, enzyme activity, drought tolerance, spermine, cations, spermine synthase, superoxide dismutase, water stress, arginine decarboxylase, antioxidant activity
Polyamines, small aliphatic polycations, have been suggested to play key roles in a number of biological processes. In this paper, attempts were made to investigate the possibility of improving antioxidant response of tomato fruits in relation with endogenous free polyamines content. We studied the reactive oxygen species and polyamines content, and antioxidant and polyamine-biosynthesis enzyme activities in fruits of ungrafted and grafted tomato plants under moderate water stress. We used a drought-tolerant cultivar (Zarina) and drought-sensitive cultivar (Josefina) to obtain reciprocal graft, selfgraft and ungraft plants. Fruits contained higher endogenous polyamine content during the course of the experiment relative to the control, coupled with higher arginine decarboxylase and spermine synthase activities in Zarina ungrafted and ZarxJos. In these cultivars, tomato fruits showed a lower reactive oxygen species generation and higher catalase and superoxide dismutase activities, suggesting that a higher content in polyamines (especially spermine) exerted a positive effect on antioxidant systems. All of these data suggest that spermine leads to more effective reactive oxygen species scavenging (less tissue damage) in tomato fruits, which may function collectively to enhance dehydration tolerance.