3 years ago

Stem parasitic plant Cuscuta australis (dodder) transfers herbivory-induced signals among plants [Plant Biology]

Stem parasitic plant Cuscuta australis (dodder) transfers herbivory-induced signals among plants [Plant Biology]
Jianqiang Wu, Yuxing Xu, Huanhuan Sun, Juan Li, Jinfeng Qi, Yan Qin, Christian Hettenhausen, Ian T. Baldwin, Yunting Lei, Jingxiong Zhang, Huifu Zhuang, Lei Wang, Guiling Sun

Cuscuta spp. (i.e., dodders) are stem parasites that naturally graft to their host plants to extract water and nutrients; multiple adjacent hosts are often parasitized by one or more Cuscuta plants simultaneously, forming connected plant clusters. Metabolites, proteins, and mRNAs are known to be transferred from hosts to Cuscuta, and Cuscuta bridges even facilitate host-to-host virus movement. Whether Cuscuta bridges transmit ecologically meaningful signals remains unknown. Here we show that, when host plants are connected by Cuscuta bridges, systemic herbivory signals are transmitted from attacked plants to unattacked plants, as revealed by the large transcriptomic changes in the attacked local leaves, undamaged systemic leaves of the attacked plants, and leaves of unattacked but connected hosts. The interplant signaling is largely dependent on the jasmonic acid pathway of the damaged local plants, and can be found among conspecific or heterospecific hosts of different families. Importantly, herbivore attack of one host plant elevates defensive metabolites in the other systemic Cuscuta bridge-connected hosts, resulting in enhanced resistance against insects even in several consecutively Cuscuta-connected host plants over long distances (> 100 cm). By facilitating plant-to-plant signaling, Cuscuta provides an information-based means of countering the resource-based fitness costs to their hosts.

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.