The polyamine spermine protects against high salt stress in Arabidopsis thaliana

Koji Yamaguchi, Yoshihiro Takahashi, Thomas Berberich, Akihiko Imai, Atsushi Miyazaki, Taku Takahashi, Anthony Michael, Tomonobu Kusano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Citations (Scopus)


It is well known that changes in abiotic conditions such as the concentration of ions, temperature and humidity lead to modulation of polyamine contents in plants. However, little is known about the relevant parts these polyamines play in abiotic stress responses. Here we addressed a specific role of spermine during high salt stress using an Arabidopsis double knockout-mutant plant (acl5/spms) which cannot produce spermine. The mutant showed higher sensitivity to high salt than wild type plants. This phenotype was cured by exogenous spermine but not by the other polyamines putrescine and spermidine, suggesting a strong link between spermine-deficiency and NaCl-hypersensitivity. The mutant was also hypersensitive to high levels of KCl but not to MgCl2 or to high osmoticum. NaCl-hypersensitivity of the mutant was compromised by treatment with Ca2+ channel blockers. Moreover, the mutant showed poor growth on Ca2+-depleted Murashige-Skoog agar media. The data suggest that the absence of spermine causes an imbalance in Ca2+ homeostasis in the mutant plant. Based on the data obtained, we propose a model for a role of spermine in high salt stress responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6783-6788
Number of pages6
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - Dec 22 2006


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Calcium homeostasis
  • Polyamine
  • Salt stress
  • Spermine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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