Effects of exogenous spermidine on photosynthesis, xanthophyll cycle and endogenous polyamines in cucumber seedlings exposed to salinity

  • S Shu
  • LY Yuan
  • SR Guo
  • J Sun
  • CJ Liu
Keywords: Cucumber, endogenous polyamines, photosynthetic characteristics, salt stress, spermidine.


The effects of exogenous spermidine (Spd, 1 mmol·L-1) on photosynthetic characteristics, xanthophylls cycle components and endogenous polyamines levels were investigated in cucumber seedlings subjected to salt stress (75 mmol·L-1 NaCl). Chlorophyll contents and net photosynthetic rate (PN) of cucumber seedlings showed a significant decrease under salinity but an increase with exogenous Spd application. Salt stress caused a remarkable decline in the maximum quantum efficiency (Fv/Fm) and the actual efficiency of photosystem II (ФPSⅡ), where an increase was observed in the constitutive loss processes (ΦNO). Application of exogenous Spd significantly decreased ФNO and enhanced regulated non-photochemical energy loss (ФNPQ) in the salt-stressed plants. Spd treatment caused an increase in the size of xanthophyll cycle pool (VAZ) and further enhanced de-epoxidation of the xanthophyll cycle (DEPS) under salt stress. These results suggest that exogenous Spd alleviated salt-mediated decline in photosynthetic efficiency through the enhanced involvement of the energy dissipation that is dependent on the xanthophyll cycle. In addition, foliar spray Spd significantly increased the free, bound and conjugated polyamines in the leaves of the salt stressed plants. Spd also increased the free putrescine (Put)/(Spd+Spm) ratio and decreased bound and conjugated Put/(Spd+Spm) under salinity. Thus, we conclude that Spd can alleviate salt-induced damage on cucumber seedlings by regulating the levels of endogenous polyamines, which was associated with an improvement in the photochemical efficiency of PSII of the salt stressed plants.

Key words: Cucumber, endogenous polyamines, photosynthetic characteristics, salt stress, spermidine.


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eISSN: 1684-5315