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Interactions of S-methylmethionine and UV-B can modify the defence mechanisms induced in maize

  • Szabolcs RudnóyEmail author
  • Imre Majláth
  • Magda Pál
  • Katalin Páldi
  • Ilona Rácz
  • Tibor Janda
Original Article

Abstract

We examined the interactions of an exogenously added non-proteinogenic amino acid, S-methylmethionine (SMM) and UV-B radiation in young maize plants. We observed that exposure to UV-B light caused a substantial increase in both the phenolics and anthocyanin contents. Pretreatment with SMM also induced a slight, but statistically significant increase in the total phenol content, and was also able to accelerate the rise in the UV-B-induced anthocyanin level. Gene expression patterns indicated that the general phenylpropanoid pathway was most strongly induced by the combined effect of SMM and UV, while the anthocyanin synthesis by the sole UV-B treatment. SMM treatment and UV-B light led to a substantial increase in the activities of the antioxidant enzymes catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and glutathione S-transferase and SMM pretreatment always enhanced the effect of UV-B. While the activity of CAT showed a significant increase in UV-B- and/or SMM-treated plants, APX was stimulated only by SMM. The present results suggest that the protective mechanisms induced by UV-B radiation could be enhanced by SMM treatment and reinforce the earlier observations of priming effects of SMM so that it can contribute to our knowledge about the SMM-induced protection against various types of stressors.

Keywords

Antioxidant enzymes Anthocyanins Maize Phenolics S-methylmethionine UV-B 

Abbreviations

APX

Ascorbate peroxidase

C3GE

Cyanidin 3-glucoside equivalents

C4H

Cinnamate 4-hydroxylase

CAT

Catalase

CHS

Chalcone synthase

CL-Cont

Untreated plants grown under control light

CL-SMM

Plants grown under control light and treated with S-methylmethionine

Fv/Fm

Variable to maximum chlorophyll fluorescence ratio

GA

Gallic acid

GAE

Gallic acid equivalents

GST

Glutathione S-transferase

oANI

Ortho-anisic acid

pHBA

Para-hydroxybenzoic acid

PPFD

Photosynthetic photon flux density

qRT-PCR

Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction

SA

Salicylic acid

SMM

S-methylmethionine

TCA

Trichloroacetic acid

UV-Cont

Plants irradiated with UV but not treated with S-methylmethionine

UV-SMM

Plants irradiated with UV and treated with S-methylmethionine

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Dr. Demeter Lásztity for all his help and advice, Györgyi Balogh for her technical assistance and Barbara Harasztos for revising the manuscript linguistically. Thanks are due to Csaba Marton (MTA ATK Department of Maize Breeding) for providing the maize seeds. This work was funded by a grant from the Hungarian National Scientific Research Fund (OTKA K108834).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Szabolcs Rudnóy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Imre Majláth
    • 2
  • Magda Pál
    • 2
  • Katalin Páldi
    • 1
  • Ilona Rácz
    • 1
  • Tibor Janda
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant Physiology and Molecular Plant Biology, Institute of BiologyEötvös Loránd University (ELTE)BudapestHungary
  2. 2.Agricultural Institute, Centre for Agricultural ResearchHungarian Academy of SciencesMartonvásárHungary

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