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Effect of the fungal endophyte Epichloë bromicola on polyamines in wild barley (Hordeum brevisubulatum) under salt stress

  • Taixiang Chen
  • Chunjie Li
  • James F. White
  • Zhibiao Nan
Regular Article
  • 122 Downloads

Abstract

Background and aims

The endophytic fungus Epichloë bromicola forms mutualistic symbiotic associations with wild barley (Hordeum brevisubulatum) in the saline-alkali areas of northwestern China. E. bromicola enhances the tolerance of H. brevisubulatum to salt stress. Because plant polyamine metabolism is closely related to microbial infection and tolerance to diverse abiotic stresses, we hypothesized that in symbiotic plants polyamine modification may result from E. bromicola infection, and that improved tolerance to abiotic stress by the presence of this endophyte might be related to polyamine modification. Our focus in this study was to investigate whether E. bromicola affects polyamine metabolism in host plants under salt stress.

Methods

E. bromicola infected (E+) and endophyte free (E-) wild barley plants were subjected to NaCl treatments (0, 100, 200 and 300 mM). Dry weight, diamine putrescine (Put), triamine spermidine (Spd) and tetramine spermine (Spm) content and the content of their free, soluble conjugated and insoluble bound forms were measured after 21 d exposure to stress.

Results

E. bromicola infection led to significant amelioration of salt stress in H. brevisubulatum. The presence of the endophyte significantly increased dry weight, spermidine and spermine content, but decreased putrescine content and the putrescine: (spermidine + spermine) ratio. E. bromicola infection also lowered the proportion of putrescine in total polyamines, but increased the proportion of spermidine and spermine in total polyamines. Furthermore, E. bromicola infection significantly increased the proportion of insoluble bound forms of polyamines, and decreased the proportion of free forms of polyamines and soluble conjugated forms of polyamines.

Conclusions

H. brevisubulatum salinity stress tolerance induced by E. bromicola infection correlated with enhanced conversion of putrescine to spermidine and spermine, as well as improved shift ability from free forms and soluble conjugated forms of polyamines to insoluble bound forms of polyamines.

Keywords

Hordeum brevisubulatum Epichloë endophyte Salt stress Polyamines Free form polyamines Soluble conjugated form polyamines Insoluble bound form polyamines 

Notes

Funding

The study was supported by National Basic Research Program of China (2014CB138702), the Natural Science Foundation of China (31372366), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDAXDA20100102), Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University of China (IRT17R50), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (LZUJBKY-2018-kb10), 111Project (B12002), USDA-NIFA Multistate Project W3147 and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Disclosures

The article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

This study did not involve human participants, and so informed consent was not required.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystemsLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Grassland Livestock Industry Innovation, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural AffairsLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  3. 3.Engineering Research Center of Grassland Industry, Ministry of EducationLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  4. 4.College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and TechnologyLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  5. 5.Department of Plant BiologyRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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