Bud endophytes of Scots pine produce adenine derivatives and other compounds that affect morphology and mitigate browning of callus cultures

Physiol Plant. 2004 Jun;121(2):305-312. doi: 10.1111/j.0031-9317.2004.00330.x.


Endophytes are found in meristematic bud tissues of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) especially prior to growth, which would suggest their involvement in growth of the bud. To test this hypothesis, production of phytohormones by two bacterial (Methylobacterium extorquens, Pseudomonas synxantha) and one fungal endophyte (Rhodotorula minuta) was studied by mass spectrometry. The most common gibberellins, auxins, or cytokinins were not detected in the fractions studied. Instead, M. extorquens and R. minuta produced adenine derivatives that may be used as precursors in cytokinin biosynthesis. A plant tissue culture medium was conditioned with the endophytes, and pine tissue cultures were started on the media. Tetracycline inhibited callus production, which was restored on the endophyte-conditioned media. In addition, conditioning mitigated browning of the Scots pine explants. However, a decrease in tissue size was observed on the endophyte-conditioned media. Addition of adenosine monophosphate in the plant culture medium restored callus production and increased growth of the tissues, but had no effect on browning. Therefore, production of adenine ribosides by endophytes may play some role in the morphological effect observed in the pine tissues.