Ectopic expression of MdSPDS1 in sweet orange (Citrus sinensis Osbeck) reduces canker susceptibility: involvement of H₂O₂ production and transcriptional alteration.BMC Plant Biol. 2011 Mar 28; 11:55.BP
Enormous work has shown that polyamines are involved in a variety of physiological processes, but information is scarce on the potential of modifying disease response through genetic transformation of a polyamine biosynthetic gene.
In the present work, an apple spermidine synthase gene (MdSPDS1) was introduced into sweet orange (Citrus sinensis Osbeck 'Anliucheng') via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of embryogenic calluses. Two transgenic lines (TG4 and TG9) varied in the transgene expression and cellular endogenous polyamine contents. Pinprick inoculation demonstrated that the transgenic lines were less susceptible to Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri (Xac), the causal agent of citrus canker, than the wild type plants (WT). In addition, our data showed that upon Xac attack TG9 had significantly higher free spermine (Spm) and polyamine oxidase (PAO) activity when compared with the WT, concurrent with an apparent hypersensitive response and the accumulation of more H₂O₂. Pretreatment of TG9 leaves with guazatine acetate, an inhibitor of PAO, repressed PAO activity and reduced H₂O₂ accumulation, leading to more conspicuous disease symptoms than the controls when both were challenged with Xac. Moreover, mRNA levels of most of the defense-related genes involved in synthesis of pathogenesis-related protein and jasmonic acid were upregulated in TG9 than in the WT regardless of Xac infection.
Our results demonstrated that overexpression of the MdSPDS1 gene prominently lowered the sensitivity of the transgenic plants to canker. This may be, at least partially, correlated with the generation of more H₂O₂ due to increased production of polyamines and enhanced PAO-mediated catabolism, triggering hypersensitive response or activation of defense-related genes.