PerspectivePlant biology

Sending ROS on a Bullet Train

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Sci. Signal.  29 Sep 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 90, pp. pe60
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.290pe60

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Plants have to contend with biotic stress, such as disease, mechanical wounding, and herbivory, as well as abiotic stress, such as heat, cold, and salinity. An early warning system for these threats would prevent or reduce the damage suffered by plants. Such a warning system should allow the signal to be rapidly generated and sent over long distances. The study of systemic signaling in plants has been a major scientific challenge. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are among the systemic signals that have been proposed. Now, the exciting discovery that systemic ROS signaling is mediated by an NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate, reduced form) oxidase opens the door to understanding the molecular mechanisms that initiate and propagate a rapid systemic signal.

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