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Nitric oxide, polyamines and Cd-induced phytotoxicity in wheat roots

Groppa, M.D., Rosales, E.P., Iannone, M.F., Benavides, M.P.
Phytochemistry 2008 v.69 no.14 pp. 2609-2615
Triticum aestivum, wheat, plant response, physiological response, seedlings, seedling growth, root growth, nitric oxide, polyamines, lipid peroxidation, glutathione, spermidine, spermine, putrescine, cadmium, signal transduction
To further explore the biochemical basis of Cd toxicity in developing wheat seedlings, we studied the possible role of nitric oxide (NO) and polyamines as signaling molecules involved in metal-induced root growth inhibition. When used at 0.1 mM, sodium nitroprusside, a NO-releasing compound, inhibited root growth to a similar extent as Cd and enhanced the polyamine contents as Cd also did. Putrescine and spermidine treatments caused significant decreases in root growth with spermine giving the greatest level of inhibition (77% reduction). The simultaneous addition of Cd and inhibitors of putrescine biosynthesis (DFMA and DFMO) prevented increases in putrescine levels but did not restore normal root growth. NO content, as evidenced by the fluorescent probe DAF-FM diacetate, was found to be significantly increased in the roots of both Cd and polyamine treated plants, especially in those exposed to spermine. The effect was specific for NO since the NO scavenger cPTIO almost suppressed the fluorescent signal. Concerning the oxidative status of the root system, only Cd and spermine enhanced lipid peroxidation in roots. At the same time, all treatments led to a significant increase in levels of the non-enzymatic antioxidant defense glutathione. Our results strongly suggest that Cd and spermine treatments induce NO formation in wheat roots which, in turn, is involved in root growth inhibition.