Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Jasmonic acid


Jasmonates are phytohormones derived from oxygenated fatty acids that regulate a broad range of plant defense and developmental processes. In Arabidopsis, hypocotyl elongation under various light conditions was suppressed by exogenously supplied methyl jasmonate (MeJA). Moreover, this suppression by MeJA was particularly effective under red light condition. Mutant analyses suggested that SCF(COI1)-mediated proteolysis was involved in this function. However, MeJA action still remained in the coi1 mutant, and (+)-7-iso-JA-L-Ile, a well-known active form of jasmonate, had a weaker effect than MeJA under the red light condition, suggesting that unknown signaling pathway are present in MeJA-mediated inhibition of hypocotyl elongation. EMS mutant screening identified two MeJA-insensitive hypocotyl elongation mutants, jasmonate resistance long hypocotyl 1 (jal1) and jal36, which had mutations in the phytochrome B (PHYB) gene. These analyses suggested that inhibition of hypocotyl elongation by jasmonates is enhanced under red light in phyB dependent manner.

Concepts: Fatty acid, Mutant, Plant physiology, Plant hormones, Jasmonate, Jasmonic acid, Methyl jasmonate, Wild Child


BackgroundJasmonates are important regulators in plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses as well as in development. Synthesized from lipid-constituents, the initially formed jasmonic acid is converted to different metabolites including the conjugate with isoleucine. Important new components of jasmonate signalling including its receptor were identified, providing deeper insight into the role of jasmonate signalling pathways in stress responses and development.ScopeThe present review is an update of the review on jasmonates published in this journal in 2007. New data of the last five years are described with emphasis on metabolites of jasmonates, on jasmonate perception and signalling, on cross-talk to other plant hormones and on jasmonate signalling in response to herbivores and pathogens, in symbiotic interactions, in flower development, in root growth and in light perception.ConclusionsThe last few years have seen breakthroughs in the identification of JASMONATE ZIM DOMAIN (JAZ) proteins and their interactors such as transcription factors and co-repressors, and the crystallization of the jasmonate receptor as well as of the enzyme conjugating jasmonate to amino acids. Now, the complex nature of networks of jasmonate signalling in stress responses and development including hormone cross-talk can be addressed.

Concepts: Protein, Amino acid, Signal transduction, Metabolism, Hormone, Receptor, Jasmonate, Jasmonic acid


Jasmonates are ubiquitously occurring lipid-derived signaling compounds active in plant development and plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Upon environmental stimuli jasmonates are formed and accumulate transiently. During flower and seed development, jasmonic acid (JA) and a remarkable number of different metabolites accumulate organ- and tissue specifically. The accumulation is accompanied with expression of jasmonate-inducible genes. Among these genes there are defense genes and developmentally regulated genes. The profile of jasmonate compounds in flowers and seeds covers active signaling molecules such as JA, its precursor 12-oxophytodienoic acid (OPDA) and amino acid conjugates such as JA-Ile, but also inactive signaling molecules occur such as 12-hydroxy-JA and its sulfated derivative. These latter compounds can occur at several orders of magnitude higher level than JA. Metabolic conversion of JA and JA-Ile to hydroxylated compounds seems to inactivate JA signaling, but also specific functions of jasmonates in flower and seed development were detected. In tomato OPDA is involved in embryo development. Occurrence of jasmonates, expression of JA-inducible genes and JA-dependent processes in flower and seed development will be discussed.

Concepts: Amino acid, Embryo, Fruit, Seed, Plant morphology, Flower, Jasmonate, Jasmonic acid


The demand for increased crop productivity and the predicted challenges related to plant survival under adverse environmental conditions have renewed the interest in research in root biology. Various physiological and genetic studies have provided ample evidence in support of the role of plant growth regulators in root development. The biosynthesis and transport of auxin and its signaling play a crucial role in controlling root growth and development. The univocal role of auxin in root development has established it as a master regulator. Other plant hormones, such as cytokinins, brassinosteroids, ethylene, abscisic acid, gibberellins, jasmonic acid, polyamines and strigolactones interact either synergistically or antagonistically with auxin to trigger cascades of events leading to root morphogenesis and development. In recent years, the availability of biological resources, development of modern tools and experimental approaches have led to the advancement of knowledge in root development. Research in the areas of hormone signal perception, understanding network of events involved in hormone action and the transport of plant hormones has added a new dimension to root biology. The present review highlights some of the important conceptual developments in the interplay of auxin and other plant hormones and associated downstream events affecting root development.

Concepts: Root, Plant hormones, Plant hormone, Abscisic acid, Abscission, Ethylene, Auxin, Jasmonic acid


Tomato plants colonised with the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus Glomus fasciculatum show systemic induced resistance to the foliar pathogen Alternaria alternata, as observed in interactions of other AM-colonised plants with a range of pathogens. The role of jasmonic (JA) and salicylic (SA) acid in expression of this mycorrhiza-induced resistance (MIR) against A. alternata was studied by measuring: (i) activity of enzymes reported to be involved in their biosynthesis, namely lipoxygenase (LOX) and phenylammonia lyase (PAL); and (ii) levels of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) and SA. Transcript abundance of some defence genes associated with JA and SA response pathways were also studied. Both LOX and PAL activity increased twofold in response to pathogen application to control plants. AM-colonised plants had three-fold higher LOX activity compared to control plants, but unlike controls, this did not increase further in response to pathogen application. Higher LOX activity in AM-colonised plants correlated with four-fold higher MeJA in leaves of AM-colonised plants compared to controls. Treatment of plants with the JA biosynthesis inhibitor salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM) led to 50% lower MeJA in both control and AM-colonised plants and correlated with increased susceptibility to A. alternata, suggesting a causal role for JA in expression of MIR against the pathogen. Genes involved in JA biosynthesis (OPR3) and response (COI1) showed six- and 42-fold higher expression, respectively, in leaves of AM-colonised plants compared to controls. AM-colonised plants also showed increased expression of the SA response gene PR1 and that of the wound-inducible polypeptide prosystemin. Our results suggest that the systemic increase in JA in response to AM colonisation plays a key role in expression of MIR against A. alternata. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Gene, Bacteria, Fungus, Tomato, Jasmonate, Jasmonic acid, Alternaria alternata, Methyl jasmonate


Insect repellents are important prophylactic tools for travelers and populations living in endemic areas of malaria, dengue, encephalitis, and other vector-borne diseases. DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) is a 6-decade-old synthetic repellent, which is still considered the gold standard of mosquito repellents. Mosquitoes use their sense of smell to detect DEET, but there are currently two hypotheses regarding its mode of action: activation of ionotropic receptor IR40a vs. odorant receptor(s). Here, we demonstrate that DEET, picaridin, insect repellent 3535, and p-menthan-3,8-diol activate the odorant receptor CquiOR136 of the southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus. Electrophysiological and behavioral assays showed that CquiIR40a knockdown had no significant effect on DEET detection and repellency. By contrast, reduction of CquiOR136 transcript levels led to a significant decrease in electroantennographic responses to DEET and a complete lack of repellency. Thus, direct activation of an odorant receptor, not an ionotropic receptor, is necessary for DEET reception and repellency in Culex mosquitoes. Interestingly, methyl jasmonate, a repellent derived from the nonvolatile jasmonic acid in the signaling pathway of plant defenses, elicited robust responses in CquiOR136•CquiOrco-expressing Xenopus oocytes, thus suggesting a possible link between natural products with long insect-plant evolutionary history and synthetic repellents.

Concepts: Malaria, Mosquito, Receptor, Dengue fever, Insect repellent, Jasmonate, Jasmonic acid, DEET


Activated forms of jasmonic acid (JA) are central signals coordinating plant responses to stresses, yet tools to analyse their spatial and temporal distribution are lacking. Here we describe a JA perception biosensor termed Jas9-VENUS that allows the quantification of dynamic changes in JA distribution in response to stress with high spatiotemporal sensitivity. We show that Jas9-VENUS abundance is dependent on bioactive JA isoforms, the COI1 co-receptor, a functional Jas motif and proteasome activity. We demonstrate the utility of Jas9-VENUS to analyse responses to JA in planta at a cellular scale, both quantitatively and dynamically. This included using Jas9-VENUS to determine the cotyledon-to-root JA signal velocities on wounding, revealing two distinct phases of JA activity in the root. Our results demonstrate the value of developing quantitative sensors such as Jas9-VENUS to provide high-resolution spatiotemporal data about hormone distribution in response to plant abiotic and biotic stresses.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Plant, Sociology, Signal, Jasmonate, Jasmonic acid, Methyl jasmonate


The cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) represent a large and important enzyme superfamily in plants. They catalyze numerous monooxygenation/hydroxylation reactions in biochemical pathways, P450s are involved in a variety of metabolic pathways and participate in the homeostasis of phytohormones. The CYP82 family genes specifically reside in dicots and are usually induced by distinct environmental stresses. However, their functions are largely unknown, especially in soybean (Glycine max L.). Here, we report the function of GmCYP82A3, a gene from soybean CYP82 family. Its expression was induced by Phytophthora sojae infection, salinity and drought stresses, and treatment with methyl jasmonate (MeJA) or ethephon (ETH). Its expression levels were consistently high in resistant cultivars. Transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana plants overexpressing GmCYP82A3 exhibited strong resistance to Botrytis cinerea and Phytophthora parasitica, and enhanced tolerance to salinity and drought stresses. Furthermore, transgenic plants were less sensitive to jasmonic acid (JA), and the enhanced resistance was accompanied with increased expression of the JA/ET signaling pathway-related genes.

Concepts: Protein, Gene expression, Metabolism, Enzyme, Organism, Cytochrome P450, Jasmonate, Jasmonic acid


Stomatal closure is affected by various stimuli such as light, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, humidity and phytohormones. Our research focuses on phytohormones, specifically: abscisic acid (ABA), ethylene (ET) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) that are responsible for the regulation of several plant processes, especially in guard cell signalling. While several studies show that these three phytohormones cause stomatal closure in plants, only two studies are notable for establishing a mathematical model of guard cell signalling involving phytohormones. Those two studies employed Boolean modelling and mechanistic ordinary differential equations modelling. In this study, we propose a new mathematical model of guard cell transduction network for stomatal closure using continuous logical modelling framework. Results showed how the different components of the network function. Furthermore, the model verified the role of antioxidants in the closure mechanism, and the diminished closure level of stomata with combined ABA-ET stimulus. The analysis was extended to ABA-ET-MeJA crosstalk.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Carbon dioxide, Mathematics, Differential equation, Plant hormones, Plant hormone, Jasmonic acid, Marchantiophyta


Jasmonic acid (JA) signalling helps plants to defend themselves against necrotrophic pathogens and herbivorous insects and has been shown to influence the root microbiome of Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we determined whether JA signalling influences the diversity and functioning of the wheat (Triticum aestivum) microbiome and whether these effects are specific to particular parts of the plant. Activation of the JA pathway was achieved via exogenous application of methyl jasmonate and was confirmed by significant increases in the abundance of 10 JA-signalling-related gene transcripts. Phylogenetic marker gene sequencing revealed that JA signalling reduced the diversity and changed the composition of root endophytic but not shoot endophytic or rhizosphere bacterial communities. The total enzymatic activity and substrate utilisation profiles of rhizosphere bacterial communities were not affected by JA signalling. Our findings indicate that the effects of JA signalling on the wheat microbiome are specific to individual plant compartments.

Concepts: Bacteria, Evolution, Plant, Fungus, Root, Jasmonate, Jasmonic acid, Methyl jasmonate