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Plant Cell Rep. 2011 Jul;30(7):1231-9. doi: 10.1007/s00299-011-1031-0. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

SA and ROS are involved in methyl salicylate-induced programmed cell death in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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College of Life Science, Guangdong Key Lab of Biotechnology for Plant development, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China.


Programmed cell death (PCD) is a genetically encoded, active process that results in the death of individual cells, tissues, or whole organs, which plays an important role in the life cycles of plants and animals. Previous studies show that methyl salicylate (MeSA) is a defense signal molecular associated with systemic acquired resistance and hypersensitive reaction; however, whether MeSA can induce PCD in plant is still unknown. The morphological changes of Arabidopsis thaliana protoplasts exposed to MeSA were observed under fluorescence microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, and the induction of PCD was clearly distinguished by intense perinuclear chromatin margination, condensation of nuclear chromatin and DNA laddering after 3-h exposure of 100 μM MeSA. Our results also showed that salicylic acid (SA) was involved in MeSA-induced PCD by using a transgenic nahG Arabidopsis thaliana line, and the process was mediated by reactive oxygen species, which functioned with SA by making an amplification loop. Our study showed that MeSA could induce PCD in plant cell for the first time.

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