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Abscission of flowers and floral organs is closely associated with alkalization of the cytosol in abscission zone cells

Srivignesh Sundaresan, Sonia Philosoph-Hadas, Joseph Riov, Eduard Belausov, Betina Kochanek, Mark L. Tucker, Shimon Meir
Journal of experimental botany 2015 v.66 no.5 pp. 1355-1368
1-methylcyclopropene, Arabidopsis thaliana, Diplotaxis tenuifolia, G-proteins, Solanum lycopersicum, abscission, cytosol, deblossoming, enzyme activity, ethylene, ethylene inhibitors, explants, flowers, fluorescence, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, mutants, nitrates, pH, pedicel, pretreatment, tomatoes, transporters
In vivo changes in the cytosolic pH of abscission zone (AZ) cells were visualized using confocal microscopic detection of the fluorescent pH-sensitive and intracellularly trapped dye, 2’,7’-bis-(2-carboxyethyl)-5(and-6)-carboxyfluorescein (BCECF), driven by its acetoxymethyl ester. A specific and gradual increase in the cytosolic pH of AZ cells was observed during natural abscission of flower organs in Arabidopsis thaliana and wild rocket ( Diplotaxis tenuifolia ), and during flower pedicel abscission induced by flower removal in tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum Mill). The alkalization pattern in the first two species paralleled the acceleration or inhibition of flower organ abscission induced by ethylene or its inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), respectively. Similarly, 1-MCP pre-treatment of tomato inflorescence explants abolished the pH increase in AZ cells and pedicel abscission induced by flower removal. Examination of the pH changes in the AZ cells of Arabidopsis mutants defective in both ethylene-induced ( ctr1 , ein2 , eto4 ) and ethylene-independent ( ida , nev7 , dab5 ) abscission pathways confirmed these results. The data indicate that the pH changes in the AZ cells are part of both the ethylene-sensitive and -insensitive abscission pathways, and occur concomitantly with the execution of organ abscission. pH can affect enzymatic activities and/or act as a signal for gene expression. Changes in pH during abscission could occur via regulation of transporters in AZ cells, which might affect cytosolic pH. Indeed, four genes associated with pH regulation, vacuolar H ⁺-ATPase, putative high-affinity nitrate transporter, and two GTP-binding proteins, were specifically up-regulated in tomato flower AZ following abscission induction, and 1-MCP reduced or abolished the increased expression.