Relationship Between Polyamines and Osmoprotectants in the Response to Salinity of the Legume–Rhizobia Symbiosis

  • Miguel López-GómezEmail author
  • Javier Hidalgo-Castellanos
  • Agustín J. Marín-Peña
  • J. Antonio Herrera-Cervera


Polyamines (PAs) are hormonal compounds and growth regulators, with low molecular weight, aliphatic nature, and polycationic character at physiological pH, present in different types of organisms and particularly in plants, where they are involved in the regulation of various physiological processes related to growth and development as well as in responses to abiotic and biotic stresses. One of the strategies of plants to cope with salt stress is the accumulation of PAs since they have the capacity to stabilize macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, proteins and phospholipids, as well as free radical scavenging activity. Alterations of PAs metabolism constitute a strategy to increment salinity tolerance in plants, not only by the direct implication of PAs but also by the link between PAs and the synthesis of proline and γ-aminobutiric acid (GABA), key osmoprotectants in salt stress responses. Legumes have the capacity to establish symbiotic interactions with soil nitrogen-fixing bacteria known as rhizobia that provide this nutrient to the plant. The symbiosis induces the formation of root nodules where the nitrogen fixation occurs; however, this process is extremely sensitive to salinity. Polyamines metabolism has an active role in the legume-rhizobia symbiosis, and in addition, PAs metabolism in root nodules of legumes is the result of the plant and rhizobia interaction with nodule-specific PAs involved in mechanisms of tolerance to salinity in the symbiosis. Therefore, the gain of knowledge in the alterations of the metabolism of PAs in the legume-rhizobia symbiosis and its interaction with other molecules involved in salt stress tolerance is of great interest to improve the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen of legumes under salinity.


Salt stress Polyamines Osmoprotectants Legume-rhizobia symbiosis Nitrogen fixation 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel López-Gómez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Javier Hidalgo-Castellanos
    • 1
  • Agustín J. Marín-Peña
    • 1
  • J. Antonio Herrera-Cervera
    • 1
  1. 1.Dpto. Fisiología Vegetal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de GranadaGranadaSpain

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