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Signals involved in wound-induced proteinase inhibitor II gene expression in tomato and potato plants

Pena-Cortes, H., Fisahn, J., Willmitzer, L.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1995 v.92 no.10 pp. 4106-4116
Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, Solanum tuberosum, abiotic stress, defense mechanisms, gene expression, proteinase inhibitors, structural genes, messenger RNA, abscisic acid, jasmonic acid, polypeptides, leaves, electric current
Chemical and physical signals have been reported to mediate wound-induced proteinase inhibitor II (Pin2) gene expression in tomato and potato plants. Among the chemical signals, phytohormones such as abscisic acid (ABA) and jasmonic acid (JA) and the peptide systemin represent the best characterized systems. Furthermore, electrical and hydraulic mechanisms have also been postulated as putative Pin2-inducing systemic signals. Most of the chemical agents are able to induce Pin2 gene expression without any mechanical wounding. Thus, ABA, JA, and systemin initiate Pin2 mRNA accumulation in the directly treated leaves and in the nontreated leaves (systemic) that are located distal to the treated ones. ABA-deficient tomato and potato plants do not respond to wounding by accumulation of Pin2 mRNA, therefore providing a suitable model system for analysis of the signal transduction pathway involved in wound-induced gene activation. It was demonstrated that the site of action of JA is located downstream to the site of action of ABA. Moreover systemin represents one of the initial steps in the signal transduction pathway regulating the wound response. Recently, it was reported that heat treatment and mechanical injury generate electrical signals, which propagate throughout the plant. These signals are capable of inducing Pin2 gene expression in the nontreated leaves of wounded plants. Furthermore, electrical current application to tomato leaves leads to an accumulation of Pin2 mRNA in local and systemic tissues. Examination of photosynthetic parameters (assimilation and transpiration rate) on several types of stimuli suggests that heat-induced Pin2 gene expression is regulated by an alternative pathway from that mediating the electrical current and mechanical wound response.