Does Phoradendron perrottetii (mistletoe) alter polyphenols levels of Tapirira guianensis (host plant)?

Cláudia Maria Furlan, Fernanda Anselmo-Moreira, Luíza Teixeira-Costa, Gregório Ceccantini, Juha Pekka Salminen

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The present study aimed to investigate the reciprocal effects of Phoradendron perrottetii (mistletoe) and T. guianensis (host plant) regarding their polyphenol composition. Taking into account that tannins are important molecules in plant defense and their biosynthesis tends to be enhanced when a species is exposed to stress, we address the following questions: (1) Are the tannins found in our model species important in the interaction between host and mistletoe? (2) Does the presence of mistletoe induce changes in the content of tannins and other polyphenols in the host plant? (3) Do we find differences between the tannin sub-groups in the responses of the host plant to mistletoe? (4) Could the observed differences reflect the relative importance of one tannin group over another as chemical defense against the mistletoe? Using a polyphenol and tannin group-specific MRM methods we quantified four different tannin sub-groups together with flavonoid and quinic acid derivatives by ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry together with the oxidative and protein precipitation activities of leaves and branches of Tapirira guianensis and Phoradendron perrottetii. We selected leaves and branches of six non-parasitized trees of T. guianensis. Leaves and branches of nine individuals of T. guianensis parasitized by P. perrottetii were also sampled. For each parasitized tree, we sampled an infested branch and its leaves, as well as a non-infested branch and its leaves. Infested branches were divided into three groups: gall (the host-parasite interface), proximal, and distal region. Both proanthocyanidins and ellagitanins seem to be important for plant-plant parasitism interaction: host infested tissues (gall and surrounding regions) have clearly less tannin contents than healthy tissues. Mistletoe showed high levels of quinic acid derivatives and flavonoids that could be important during hastorium formation and intrusion on host tissues, suggesting a defense mechanism that could promote oxidative stress together with an inhibition of mistletoe seed germination, consequently avoiding secondary infestations. Polyphenol detected in T. guianensis-P. perrottetii interaction could play different role as plant-mistletoe strategies of survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-229
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Authors would thank São Paulo Research Foundation ( FAPESP - process number 2013/23322-3 and 2015/25715-8 ) for funding this research; Anne Koivuniemi and Marianna Manninen for their technical assistance during analysis. GC and CMF are fellow researchers of the Brazilian Council for Superior Education (CNPq).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Masson SAS

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Ellagitannis
  • Flavonoids
  • Mistletoe
  • Proanthocyanidins


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