Differences in the kinetics and scale of signalling molecule production modulate the ozone sensitivity of hybrid poplar clones: the roles of H2O2, ethylene and salicylic acid


Author for correspondence: Annamaria Ranieri Tel: +39 (0)50 9719302 Fax: +39 (0)50 598614 Email: aranieri@agr.unipi.it


  • • Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), ethylene, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) and salicylic acid (SA) concentrations and ACC synthase (ACS) gene expression were measured to establish whether the high sensitivity of the Populus deltoides × maximowiczii clone Eridano to ozone (O3) exposure, compared with the O3-resistant Populus deltoides × euramericana clone I-214, is attributable to differences in the modulation of signal transduction pathways.
  • • In a time-course experiment, Populus deltoides (poplar) clones were exposed to acute fumigation with 150 nl l−1 O3 for 5 h.
  • • The two poplar clones showed differences in ethylene evolution, I-214 displaying earlier and less pronounced ethylene emission than Eridano. In both clones, ethylene evolution was accompanied by increased ACS transcript levels and enhanced emission of free ACC. I-214 exhibited a greater basal concentration of free SA and a lower concentration of the conjugated pool. However, a slight accumulation of free SA at the end of the 5-h exposure was found only in Eridano, together with an earlier minimal increase in the concentration of conjugated SA.
  • • The results show that both clones react to O3 by producing H2O2, ethylene and SA, but the difference in sensitivity to the pollutant is probably attributable to differences in the kinetics and magnitude of this response.