Editors' ChoicePlant Science

Plant Protector Identified

Science's STKE  09 Oct 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 407, pp. tw366
DOI: 10.1126/stke.4072007tw366

Plants that survive an initial pathogen attack often develop enhanced resistance to subsequent infections. For example, previous infection of tobacco plants by tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) enhances resistance elsewhere in the plant to subsequent challenge by TMV or other pathogens, which is termed systemic acquired resistance (SAR). The development of SAR requires the movement of a signal made in the primary infected tissue through the phloem to the distal systemic tissue. Park et al. show that the mobile signal for SAR is a biologically inactive form of salicylic acid, methyl salicylate (MeSA), a key hormone for activating host defenses to many plant pathogens.

S.-W. Park, E. Kaimoyo, D. Kumar, S. Mosher, D. F. Klessig, Methyl salicylate is a critical mobile signal for plant systemic acquired resistance. Science 318, 113-116 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]