Jasmonic acid biosynthesis occurs in leaves and there is also evidence of a similar pathway in roots. The expression of lipoxygenase, allene oxide cyclase and low amounts of transcripts of allene oxide synthase in tomato roots indicates that some steps of the jasmonate synthesis may occur in these organs. Thus, the aim of the present work was to study the jasmonate and octadecanoid occurrence in tomato roots using isolated cultures of hairy roots. These were obtained by the transformation of cv. Pera roots with Agrobacterium rhyzogenes. Also we investigated the effect of NaCl stress on the endogenous levels of these compounds. Jasmonic acid, 12-oxophytodienoic acid and their methylated derivatives, as well as a jasmonate-isoleucine conjugate, were present in control hairy roots of 30 d of culture. The 12-oxophytodienoic acid and its methylated derivative showed higher levels than jasmonic acid and its methylated form, although the content of the conjugate was the same as that of jasmonic acid. After salinization of hairy roots for 14, 20 and 30 d, free jasmonates and octadecanoids were measured. Fourteen days after salt treatment, increased levels of these compounds were found, jasmonic acid and 12-oxophytodienoic acid showed the most remarkable rise. 11-OH-jasmonic acid was found at 14 d of culture in control and salt-treated hairy roots; whereas the 12-OH-form of jasmonic acid was only detected in the salt-treated hairy roots. Agrobacterium rhizogenes cultures did not produce jasmonates and/or octadecanoids.
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