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EMBO J. 1987 Sep;6(9):2551-6.

Parsley protoplasts retain differential responsiveness to u.v. light and fungal elicitor.

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Abteilung Biochemie, D-5000 Köln 30, FRG.


The differential response of cultured parsley cells to u.v. irradiation and elicitor treatment is a paradigm for analysis of specific plant defense responses. We demonstrate that freshly isolated parsley protoplasts, in the absence of detectable cell wall, maintain fully the ability to be activated by these important environmental factors. Stimulated protoplasts synthesize typical qualitative patterns and amounts of potentially protective flavonoid glycosides and coumarin phytoalexins following either u.v. irradiation or treatment with fungal elicitor, respectively. Induced accumulation of mRNAs and enzymes of the phenylpropanoid biosynthetic pathways is nearly identical in protoplasts and cells. Stimulation of protoplasts with elicitor requires only a short period of contact, which is not sufficient for cell wall regeneration. Importantly, there is no activation of these pathways during protoplast preparation. These results establish that parsley protoplasts respond appropriately to two physically distinct stimuli and might serve as an especially suitable system for the analysis of signal transduction and gene activation.

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