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    Changes in the levels of polyamines are associated with fundamental physiological processes such as embryogenesis, induction of flowering, fruit development and ripening, senescence, and responses to environmental stresses, but the role of polyamines in sex differentiation and unisexual flower development has not been deeply studied. To extend the knowledge on the regulatory mechanisms of flowering in monoecious plant (producing unisexual flowers), we investigated the morphogenesis and free polyamine levels in Cucumis sativus during sex differentiation and unisexual flower development in vitro using histocytological and biochemical methods. As shown in our study, floral development in vitro was undisturbed and flowers of both sexes were produced. Sex differentiation relied on preventing the development of generative organs of the opposite sex, as we observed carpel repression in male flowers and stamen repression in female flowers. Pollen viability was negatively correlated with female flower development on the same node. Biochemical analysis revealed increased accumulation of aliphatic amines (tri, tetra-amines) in generative (flower buds and flowers) compare to vegetative (axillary buds and leaves) organs. Undifferentiated floral buds contained elevated levels of agmatine, cadaverine, spermidine and spermine. Sex differentiation was associated with significantly decreased levels of agmatine and cadaverine. Our results showed that female flowers contained higher levels of total polyamine than male flowers. The increased level of cadaverine was associated with macrogametogenesis and female flower maturation. Putrescine was important for male flower development. Such results support the hypothesis that aliphatic amines are involved in unisexual flower development. © 2020 Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society.


    Agnieszka Kiełkowska, Michał Dziurka. Changes in polyamine pattern mediates sex differentiation and unisexual flower development in monoecious cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Physiologia plantarum. 2021 Jan;171(1):48-65

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    PMID: 32840866

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