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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Mar 15;89(6):2389-93.

Jasmonic acid is a signal transducer in elicitor-induced plant cell cultures.


To deter pathogenic microorganisms and herbivores, plants have developed an inducible chemical defense system. It is known that the induced synthesis of low molecular weight compounds can be provoked by exposing cultured cells to fungal cell wall fragments. In this study we show that endogenous jasmonic acid and its methyl ester accumulate rapidly and transiently after treatment of plant cell suspension cultures of Rauvolfia canescens and Eschscholtzia californica with a yeast elicitor. Thirty-six plant species tested in cell suspension culture could be elicited with respect to the accumulation of secondary metabolites by exogenously supplied methyl jasmonate. Addition of methyl jasmonate initiates de novo transcription of genes, such as phenylalanine ammonia lyase, that are known to be involved in the chemical defense mechanisms of plants. These data demonstrate the integral role of jasmonic acid and its derivatives in the intracellular signal cascade that begins with interaction of an elicitor molecule with the plant cell surface and results, ultimately, in the accumulation of secondary compounds.

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