Cells of Saccharum officinarum submitted to hydrolyzated chitin for 1 to 8h produced phenolic compounds. These alterations were observed through cytochemical methods using Toluidine Blue and Phloroglucinol/HCl. After 4 h, besides cell wall change, there was a change in nuclear pattern of chitin treated cells. There was a 96% increase in nuclear area in 6 h chitin treated material, as observed by Feulgen reaction. The treated cells showed chromatin compacted regions and a degeneration process of nucleoli. In the outer areas of cell wall, there was a polysaccharide desagregation, confirming results obtained for different plants with the use of other elicitors. Peroxidase activity was maximal after 4 h and decreased progressively. PAL activity started to increase at 4 h of incubation. These results showed that chitin hydrolyzate stimulated a defense response in sugarcane cells.
Chitin; elicitation; peroxidase; PAL; sugarcane; tissue culture