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Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, 38:224 | Cite as

Exogenous spermidine delays chlorophyll metabolism in cucumber leaves (Cucumis sativus L.) under high temperature stress

  • Heng Zhou
  • Shirong Guo
  • Yahong An
  • Xi Shan
  • Ying Wang
  • Sheng Shu
  • Jin Sun
Original Article

Abstract

This study evaluated the effects of exogenous spermidine (Spd) on chlorophyll (Chl) biosynthesis and catabolism in the leaves of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) seedlings under high temperature stress. Substrate culture experiments were performed using the high temperature-sensitive variety ‘Jinchun No. 2’ in an artificial climate chamber at 42/32 °C with foliar applications of 1.0 mmol L−1 Spd. The results suggested that high temperature stress markedly reduced the leaf Chl concentrations and inhibited plant growth; the harmful effect of high temperature on the cucumber seedlings was mitigated by exogenous Spd, which increased the leaf Chl concentration and promoted plant growth. Under high temperature stress, the conversion of porphobilinogen (PBG) into uroporphyrinogen III (UroIII) in the Chl biosynthetic pathway and the catabolic process of Chl were accelerated. Following the application of exogenous Spd, the conversion of PBG into UroIII was suppressed, and the accumulation of certain intermediates, e.g., protoporphyrin IX (ProtoIX) and Mg-protoporphyrin IX (Mg-ProtoIX), was decreased in the Chl biosynthetic pathway. Additionally, exogenous Spd reduced chlorophyllase (Chlase) and Mg-dechelatase (MDCase) activity and transcript levels and markedly downregulated pheophorbide A oxygenase (PaO), red Chl catabolite reductase (RCCR), Chl b reductase 1 (CBR1) and stay-green reductase 1 (SGR1) transcript levels. These results indicate that although high temperature stress accelerated Chl biosynthesis, it concurrently facilitated Chl catabolism in cucumber leaves. Exogenous Spd delayed the conversion of PBG into UroIII in the Chl biosynthetic pathway, effectively preventing oxidative bleaching of Chl in cucumber leaves. Meanwhile, Spd clearly decreased PaO pathway-related enzyme activity and transcript levels, thereby slowing Chl catabolism and increasing Chl concentrations.

Keywords

High temperature stress Spermidine Chlorophyll Biosynthesis Degradation 

Abbreviations

ALA

δ-Aminolevulinic acid

CBR

Chl b reductase

CCEs

Chl catabolic enzymes

Chl

Chlorophyll

Chlase

Chlorophyllase

Chlide a

Chlorophyllide a

CLH

Chlorophyllase

HMBS

Hydroxymethylbilane synthase

MDCase

Mg-dechelatase

Mg-ProtoIX

Mg-protoporphyrin IX

NCCs

Nonfluorescent Chl catabolites

LHCII

Photosystem II

LHCP II–Chl

Chl–protein complex

pFCCs

Primary fluorescent Chl catabolites

PBG

Porphobilinogen

PaO

Pheophorbide A oxygenase

PAs

Polyamines

PBGD

Porphobilinogen deaminase

Pchl

Proto Chl

Pheide a

Pheophorbide a

Pheide b

Pheophorbide b

ProtoIX

Protoporphyrin IX

RCCR

Red Chl catabolite reductase

RCCs

Red Chl catabolites

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

SGR1

Stay-green reductase 1

Spd

Spermidine

UroIII

Uroporphyrinogen III

UROS

Uroporphyrinogen III synthase

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31471869, 31401919, and 31272209), the Central Research Institutes of Basic Research Fund (6J0745), the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PDPA), and the China Agriculture Research System (CARS-25-C-03) and was sponsored by the Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (20130097120015).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heng Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shirong Guo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yahong An
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xi Shan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ying Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sheng Shu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jin Sun
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.College of HorticultureNanjing Agriculture UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Jiangsu Province Engineering Laboratory for Modern Facility Agriculture Technology and EquipmentNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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