Journal Article

Oxidative stress and senescence-like status of pear calli co-cultured on suspensions of incompatible quince microcalli

Fabio F. Nocito, Luca Espen, Chiara Fedeli, Clarissa Lancilli, Stefano Musacchi, Sara Serra, Silviero Sansavini, Maurizio Cocucci and Gian Attilio Sacchi

in Tree Physiology

Volume 30, issue 4, pages 450-458
Published in print April 2010 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI:
Oxidative stress and senescence-like status of pear calli co-cultured on suspensions of incompatible quince microcalli

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This work presents a simple in vitro system to study physiological, biochemical and molecular changes occurring in a pear callus (Pyrus communis L., cv. Beurré Bosc) grown in close proximity to spatially separated undifferentiated homologous (pear) or heterologous (quince; Cydonia oblonga Mill., East Malling clone C) cells in its neighboring environment. After a 7-day co-culture period, the presence of heterologous cells produced negative effects on the pear callus, whose relative weight increase and adenylate energy charge decreased by 30 and 24%, respectively. Such behavior was associated with a higher O2 consumption rate (+125%) which did not seem to be coupled to adenosine triphosphate synthesis. Analyses of alternative oxidase and enzymatic activities involved in reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification strongly suggested that the higher O2 consumption rate, measured in the pear callus grown in the heterologous combination, may probably be ascribed to extra-respiratory activities. These, in turn, might contribute to generate metabolic scenarios where ROS-induced oxidative stresses may have the upper hand. The increase in the levels of 2-thiobarbituric acid reactive metabolites, considered as diagnostic indicators of ROS-induced lipid peroxidation, seemed to confirm this hypothesis. Moreover, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that the expression levels of a few senescence-associated genes were higher in the pear callus grown in the heterologous combination than in the homologous one. Taken as a whole, physiological and molecular data strongly suggest that undifferentiated cells belonging to a pear graft-incompatible quince clone may induce an early senescence-like status in a closely co-cultured pear callus.

Keywords: AEC; AOX; graft incompatibility; O2 consumption rate; TBA-reactive compounds.

Journal Article.  5588 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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