The effect of salinity stress on the activity of arginine decarboxylase (ADC, EC 220.127.116.11), the first enzyme in biosynthesis of polyamines (PA) from arginine, as well as its transcript level has been compared in salt-sensitive (M-1-48) and salt-tolerant (Pokkali) rice cultivars. Treatment of 72 h grown seedlings either with increasing concentrations of NaCl or with 150 mM NaCl for different time periods, showed a gradual increase of activity in Pokkali. In M-1-48 an immediate increase followed by sharp decrease was observed on prolonged treatment beyond 6 h or above 150 mM NaCl. To generate a DNA probe for ADC, the polymerase chain reaction was used with oat genomic DNA and sequence-specific primers. A region of oat genomic DNA containing a coding sequence for 166 amino acids of the C-terminal part of the ADC enzyme was amplified and called OAD1. Southern analysis of EcoRI- or BamHI-cut genomic DNAs from different cultivars of rice with OAD1 as the probe revealed strong hybridization with one DNA fragment of rice and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) was noticed. Northern analysis of total RNA of rice with OAD1 as the probe revealed hybridization with a transcript of similar size to the ADC transcript in oat. While in Pokkali, at least a 20-fold accumulation of OAD1 homologous transcript was detected after treatment with 200 mM NaCl, only a seven-fold increase in transcript level was found in M-1-48 after 150 mM NaCl treatment. Results suggest that in the salt-tolerant rice cultivar Pokkali, ADC enzyme activity increases and its transcript also accumulates during the prolonged salinity stress, this mechanism is absent in the salt-sensitive rice cultivar M-1-48 where a prolonged period of salinity stress down-regulates both ADC activity and its transcript level.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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