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New Phytol. 2015 Sep;207(4):996-1004. doi: 10.1111/nph.13493. Epub 2015 May 21.

Systemic cytosolic Ca(2+) elevation is activated upon wounding and herbivory in Arabidopsis.

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Plant Nutrition Laboratory, Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences (IAEW), Faculty of Natural Sciences III, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, 06099, Halle (Saale), Germany.
Department of Bioorganic Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Hans-Knöll-Straße 8, 07745, Jena, Germany.
National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi, 110067, India.
Interdisciplinary Center of Crop Research (IZN), Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, 06099, Halle (Saale), Germany.


Calcium ion (Ca(2+) ) signalling triggered by insect herbivory is an intricate network with multiple components, involving positive and negative regulators. Real-time, noninvasive imaging of entire Arabidopsis thaliana rosettes was employed to monitor cytosolic free calcium ([Ca(2+) ]cyt ) elevations in local and systemic leaves in response to wounding and Spodoptera littoralis feeding. Luminescence emitted by the cytosol-localized Ca(2+) reporter aequorin was imaged using a high-resolution photon-counting camera system. Spodoptera littoralis feeding on Arabidopsis induced both local and systemic [Ca(2+) ]cyt elevations. Systemic [Ca(2+) ]cyt signals were found predominantly in adjacent leaves with direct vascular connections to the treated leaf and appeared with a delay of 1 to 2 min. Simulated herbivory by wounding always induced a local [Ca(2+) ]cyt response, but a systemic one only when the midrib was wounded. This systemic [Ca(2+) ]cyt response was suppressed by the presence of insect-derived oral secretions as well as in a mutant of the vacuolar cation channel, Two Pore Channel 1 (TPC1). Our results provide evidence that in Arabidopsis insect herbivory induces both local and systemic [Ca(2+) ]cyt signals that distribute within the vascular system. The systemic [Ca(2+) ]cyt signal could play an important signalling role in systemic plant defence.


Arabidopsis thaliana; Two Pore Channel 1 (TPC1); aequorin; calcium; herbivory; plant defence; systemic signalling; wounding

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