385 Honey Dew Fruit Senescence is Regulated by Polyamine Inhibition of Lipid Peroxidation

in HortScience
Author: Gene Lester1
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  • 1 USDA/ARS/Kika de la Garza SARC, 2301 South International Blvd., Weslaco, TX 78596

Polyamines are effective scavengers of activated oxygen free radicals produced by lipoxygenase (LOX) and phospholipase-D (PL-D). Activated oxygen free radicals cause peroxidative damage to membranes and hasten senescence. Exogenous polyamine spermidine (SPD) compared to spermine (SPM) at 1 mM or no polyamine was an effective inhibitor of honey dew (Cucumis melo L. var. inodorus) membrane peroxidation, as determined by malondialdehyde (MDA), following dark incubation for 6 or 48 hours of fully abscised fruit hypodermal mesocarp tissue. MDA levels in SPD-treated tissue was lowest in both 6 and 48 hours compared to SPM or no polyamine. SPD was effective in slowing lipid peroxidation as MDA was highly negatively correlated with the loss in total chlorophyll, plasma membrane H+ pumping ATPase activity, and microsomal phospholipid content (r = -0.89, -0.64 and -0.57, respectively). Both LOX and PL-D enzyme activities were not correlated with the total chlorophyll and microsomal membrane phospholipid losses or MDA levels, demonstrating that these enzymes act indirectly in the degradation of membranes through the production of lipid peroxidating free radicals. The results also demonstrate that the effect of polyamines as anti-senescence compounds is through direct inhibition of lipid peroxidation and not by affecting LOX or PL-D free radicle production.

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