Journal Article

Exogenous Application of Glycinebetaine Increases Chilling Tolerance in Tomato Plants

Eung-Jun Park, Zoran Jeknic and Tony H. H. Chen

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 47, issue 6, pages 706-714
Published in print June 2006 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online June 2006 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcj041
Exogenous Application of Glycinebetaine Increases Chilling Tolerance in Tomato Plants

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
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Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Moneymaker) plants are chilling sensitive, and do not naturally accumulate glycinebetaine (GB), a metabolite that functions as a stress protectant. We reported previously that exogenous GB application enhanced chilling tolerance in tomato. To understand its protective role better, we have further evaluated various parameters associated with improved tolerance. Although its effect was most pronounced in younger plants, this benefit was diminished 1 week after GB application. When administered by foliar spray, GB was readily taken up and translocated to various organs, with the highest levels being measured in meristematic tissues, including the shoot apices and flower buds. In leaves, the majority of endogenous GB was found in the cytosol; only 0.6–22.0% of the total leaf GB was localized in chloroplasts. Immediately after GB application, levels of H2O2, catalase activity and expression of the catalase gene (CAT1) were all higher in GB-treated than in control plants. One day after exposure to chilling stress, the treated plants had significantly greater catalase activity and CAT1 expression, although their H2O2 levels remained unchanged. During the following 2 d of this chilling treatment, GB-treated plants maintained lower H2O2 levels but had higher catalase activity than the controls. These results suggest that, in addition to protecting macromolecules and membranes directly, GB-enhanced chilling tolerance may involve the induction of H2O2-mediated antioxidant mechanisms, e.g. enhanced catalase expression and catalase activity.

Keywords: Catalase; Chilling tolerance; Glycinebetaine; Tomato; GB, glycinebetaine; ROS, reactive oxygen species

Journal Article.  6473 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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