Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a nonproteinous amino acid with some benefits on human health, is synthesized by GABA-shunt and the polyamine degradation pathway in plants. The regulation of Ca2+ and aminoguanidine on GABA accumulation in germinating soybean (Glycine max L.) under hypoxia-NaCl stress was investigated in this study. Exogenous Ca2+ increased GABA content significantly by enhancing glutamate decarboxylase gene expression and its activity. Addition of ethylene glycol tetra-acetic acid into the culture solution reduced GABA content greatly due to the inhibition of glutamate decarboxylase activity. Aminoguanidine reduced over 85% of diamine oxidase activity, and 33.28% and 36.35% of GABA content in cotyledon and embryo, respectively. Under hypoxia-NaCl stress, the polyamine degradation pathway contributed 31.61-39.43% of the GABA formation in germinating soybean. © 2014, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.

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