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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Apr 29;94(9):4800-5.

Elicitor-stimulated ion fluxes and O2- from the oxidative burst are essential components in triggering defense gene activation and phytoalexin synthesis in parsley.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut fur Zuchtungsforschung, Abteilung Biochemie, Carl-von-Linne-Weg 10, D-50829 Cologne, Germany.


Fungal elicitor stimulates a multicomponent defense response in cultured parsley cells (Petroselinum crispum). Early elements of this receptor-mediated response are ion fluxes across the plasma membrane and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), sequentially followed by defense gene activation and phytoalexin accumulation. Omission of Ca2+ from the culture medium or inhibition of elicitor-stimulated ion fluxes by ion channel blockers prevented the latter three reactions, all of which were triggered in the absence of elicitor by amphotericin B-induced ion fluxes. Inhibition of elicitor-stimulated ROS production using diphenylene iodonium blocked defense gene activation and phytoalexin accumulation. O2- but not H2O2 stimulated phytoalexin accumulation, without inducing proton fluxes. These results demonstrate a causal relationship between early and late reactions of parsley cells to the elicitor and indicate a sequence of signaling events from receptor-mediated activation of ion channels via ROS production and defense gene activation to phytoalexin synthesis. Within this sequence, O2- rather than H2O2 appears to trigger the subsequent reactions.

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