Physiologia Plantarum 86: 495-501 (1992)

Hydroxycinnamoylputrescines are not causally involved in the tuberization process in potato plants

Gerhard Leubner-Metzger and Nikolaus Amrhein

Institute of Plant Sciences, Plant Biochemistry and Physiology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Sonneggstr. 5, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland

Received: 28 July 1992

Abstract. The possible role of hydroxycinnamoylputrescines in the tuberization process of potato plants was studied using in vitro tuberization systems. Minitubers in shoot cultures of Solanum tuberosum ssp. andigena and S. tuberosum ssp. tuberosum were obtained in vitro within 3 weeks of dark incubation after increasing the sucrose concentration in the Murashige-Skoog medium (without hormones) from 60 to 240 mM, both in the presence or absence of benzylaminopurine (BAP). Feruloylputrescine (FP) and caffeoylputrescine (CP) increased with tuberization, with a sharp maximum at day 9 in the shoot, but only when the medium contained BAP. When inhibitors of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and of polyamine biosynthesis were added to the medium containing BAP, the levels of FP and CP were reduced to values lower than those observed in the absence of BAP, but there was no significant effect on the number and dry weight of tubers formed. Addition of BAP without increasing the sucrose content also resulted in CP and FP accumulation, but failed to induce tuberization of the cultures. Experiments with in vitro stolon cultures and leaf cuttings also supported the conclusion that CP and FP accumulated as a response to the application of BAP, without having any effect on optimal tuberization. These results indicate that the increase of hydroxycinnamoylputrescines during tuber formation is unlikely to be causally involved in the tuberization process in potato plants.

Key words: Benzylaminopurine, Caffeoylputrescine, Feruloylputrescine, Hydroxycinnamic acid amides, In vitro minitubers, Polyamines, Potato, Solanaceae, Tuberization

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