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Plant J. 2002 Feb;29(4):393-403.

Local and systemic wound-induction of RNase and nuclease activities in Arabidopsis: RNS1 as a marker for a JA-independent systemic signaling pathway.

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MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1312, USA.


Induction of defense-related genes is one way in which plants respond to mechanical injury. We investigated whether RNases are involved in the wound response in Arabidopsis thaliana. As in other plant systems, several activities are induced with various timings in damaged leaves, stems and seedlings in Arabidopsis, including at least three bifunctional nucleases, capable of degrading both RNA and DNA, as well as RNS1, a member of the ubiquitous RNase T(2) family of RNases. The strong induction of RNS1 is particularly interesting because it occurs both locally and systemically following wounding. The systemic induction of this RNase indicates that members of this family may be involved in defense mechanisms in addition to their previously hypothesized functions in nutrient recycling and remobilization. Additionally, the systemic induction appears to be controlled independently of jasmonic acid, and the local induction of RNS1 and the nuclease activities are independent of both JA and oligosaccharide elicitors. Consequently, a novel systemic pathway, likely involving a third signal, appears to exist in Arabidopsis.

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