Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Translocation and metabolism of glycine betaine by barley plants in relation to water stress

  • 150 Accesses

  • 62 Citations

Abstract

The glycine betaine which accumulated in shoots of young barley plants (Hordeum vulgare L.) during an episode of water stress did not undergo net destruction upon relief of stress, but its distribution among plant organs changed. During stress, betaine accumulated primarily in mature leaves, whereas it was found mainly in young leaves after rewatering. Well-watered, stressed, and stressed-rewatered plants were supplied with [methyl-14C]betaine (8.5 nmol) via an abraded spot on the second leaf blade, and incubated for 3 d. In all three treatments the added 14C migrated more or less extensively from the second leaf blade, but was recovered quantitatively from various plant organs in the form of betaine; no labeled degradation products were found in any organ. When 0.5 μmol of [methyl-14C]betaine was applied via an abraded spot to the second leaf blades of well-watered, mildly-stressed, and stressed-rewatered plants, 14C was translocated out of the blades at velocities of about 0.2–0.3 cm/min which were similar to velocities found for applied [14C]sucrose. Heat-girdling of the sheath prevented export of [14C]betaine from the blade. When 0.5 μmol [3H]sucrose and 0.5 μmol [14C]betaine were suppled simultaneously to second leaf blades, the 3H/14C ratio in the sheath tissue was the same as that of the supplied mixture. After supplying tracer [14C]betaine aldehyde (the immediate precursor of betaine) to the second leaf blade, the 14C which was translocated into the sheath was in the form of betaine. Thus, betaine synthesized by mature leaves during stress behaves as an inert end product and upon rewatering is translocated to the expanding leaves, most probably via the phloem. Accordingly, it is suggested that the level of betaine in a barley plant might serve as a useful cumulative index of the water stress experienced during growth.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Ahmad, N., Wyn Jones, R.G. (1979) Glycine betaine, proline and inorganic ion levels in barley seedlings following transient stress. Plant Sci. Lett. 15, 231–237

  2. Bowman, M.S., Rohringer, R. (1970) Formate metabolism and betaine formation in healthy and rust-infected wheat. Can. J. Bot. 48, 803–811

  3. Canny, M.J. (1973) Phloem translocation. Cambridge University Press. London

  4. Floss, H.G., Robber, J.E., Heinstein, P.F. (1974) Regulatory control mechanisms in alkaloid biosynthesis. In: Metabolism and regulation of secondary plant products, vol. 8, pp. 141–175, Runeckles, V.C., Conn, E.E., eds. Academic Press, New York

  5. Hanson, A.D., Nelsen, C.E. (1978) Betaine accumulation and [14C]formate metabolism in water-stressed barley leaves. Plant Physiol. 62, 305–312

  6. Hanson, A.D., Nelsen, C.E., Everson, E.H. (1977) Evaluation of free proline accumulation as an index of drought resistance using two barley cultivars. Crop Sci. 17, 720–726

  7. Hanson, A.D., Nelsen, C.E., Ladyman, J.A.R. (1978) Betaine accumulation in water-stressed barley leaves. (Abstr.) Plant Physiol. [Suppl.] 61, 81

  8. Hanson, A.D., Scott, N. (1980) Betaine synthesis from radioactive precursors in attached, water-stressed barley leaves. Plant Physiol. 66, 342–348

  9. Hitz, W.D., Hanson, A.D. (1980) Determination of glycine betaine by pyrolysis-gas chromatography in cereals and grasses. Phytochemistry, in press

  10. Housley, T.L., Peterson, D.M., Schrader, L.E. (1977) Long distance translocation of sucrose, serine, leucine, lysine and CO2 assimilates. I. Soybean. Plant Physiol. 59, 217–220

  11. Kensler, C.J., Langemann, H. (1951) The distribution of choline oxidase activity in rat liver. J. Biol. Chem. 192, 551–554

  12. Lintzel, W., Fomin, S. (1931) Untersuchungen über Trimethylam-moniumbasen. Biochem. Z. 238, 438–458

  13. Meiri, A., Plaut, Z., Shimshi, D. (1975) The use of the pressure chamber technique for measurement of the water potential of transpiring plant organs. Physiol. Plant. 35, 72–76

  14. McKey, D. (1974) Adaptive patterns in alkaloid physiology. Am. Nat. 108, 305–320

  15. Pollard, A., Wyn Jones, R.G. (1979) Enzyme activities in concentrated solutions of glycine betaine and other solutes. Planta 144, 291–298

  16. Ritchie, G.A. (1975) The pressure chamber as an instrument for ecological research. Adv. Ecol. Res. 9, 165–254

  17. Storey, R., Ahmad, N., Wyn Jones, R.G. (1977) Taxonomic and ecological aspects of the distribution of glycine betaine and related compounds in plants. Oecologia 27, 319–332

  18. Tully, R.E., Hanson, A.D., Nelsen, C.E. (1979) Prolime accumulation in water-stressed barley leaves in relation to translocation and the nitrogen budget. Plant Physiol. 63, 518–523

  19. Wardlaw, I.F. (1974) Phloem transport: physical chemical or impossible. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. 25, 515–539

  20. Williams, J.N. (1952) Studies on the stability of mitochondrial choline oxidase. J. Biol. Chem. 197, 709–715

  21. Wyn Jones, R.G., Storey, R. (1978) Stalt stress and comparative physiology in the Gramineae. II. Glycinebetaine and proline accumulation in two salt- and water-stressed barley cultivars. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 5, 801–816

  22. Yamaguchi, S., Islam, A.S. (1967) Translocation of eight 14C-labeled amino acids and three herbicides in two varieties of barley. Hilgardia 38, 207–229

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ladyman, J.A.R., Hitz, W.D. & Hanson, A.D. Translocation and metabolism of glycine betaine by barley plants in relation to water stress. Planta 150, 191–196 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00390825

Download citation

Key words

  • Betaine
  • Hordeum
  • Water stress