Micropropagated poplar shoots rooted 100% on a rooting medium (A) containing NAA, but they did not root in the absence of auxin (NA). Putrescine, but not spermidine and spermine, promoted rooting up to 42% when added to the NA medium. Cyclohexylamine (CHA), an inhibitor of spermine synthase, also promoted (up to 36%) rooting in the absence of auxin. The inhibitors of polyamine biosynthesis DFMA (α-difluoromethylarginine) and DFMO (α-difluoromethylomithine), aminoguanidine (AG) and methylglyoxal-bis-guanylhydrazone (MGBG), inhibited rooting when applied in the presence of auxin and had no effect in its absence.
The rooting inductive phase (in the presence of auxin) was determined by periodical transfer of shoots from A to NA medium, and by changes in peroxidase activity, to be 7 h. Putrescine (not spermidine and spermine) accumulated to a maximum during the inductive phase. Both putrescine and CHA promoted rooting on NA medium when applied during the first 7 h. In contrast DFMA and AG inhibited rooting during this period. The results point to the involvement of putrescine and its Δ1-pyrroline pathway, in the inductive phase of rooting in poplar shoots.