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Plant Signal Behav. 2010 Jan;5(1):42-4.

Tissue-type specific systemin perception and the elusive systemin receptor.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA.


Systemin is a wound signaling peptide from tomato that is important for plant defenses against herbivory. The systemin receptor was initially identified as the tomato homolog of the brassinosteroid receptor BRI1, but genetic evidence argued against this finding. However, we found that BRI1 may function as an inappropriate systemin binding protein that does not activate the systemin signaling pathway. Here we provide evidence that systemin perception is localized in a tissue-type specific manner. Mesophyll protoplasts were not sensitive to systemin, while they responded to other elicitors. We hypothesize that the elusive systemin receptor is a protein with high similarity to BRI1 which is specifically localized in vascular tissue like the systemin precursor prosystemin. Binding of systemin to BRI1 may be an artifact of transgenic BRI1-overexpressing plants, but does not take place in wild type tomato cells.


BRI1; BRL; brassinosteroids; protoplasts; systemin; systemin receptor

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