News Release

FASE publishes research on electrical signal transduction in horticultural plant tomato

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Higher Education Press

Electrical signals commonly occur in plants in response to various environmental changes and have a dominant function in plant acclimation. Recently, a research team from Zhejiang University in China finds new findings on electrical signal transduction during herbivory or wound in horticultural plant tomato. The study can be found in the open access journal Frontiers of Agricultural Science and EngineeringFASEwhich is published by Higher Education Press.

The transduction of wound-elicited electrical signals in the model plant species Arabidopsis has been characterized but the characteristics of electrical signal transduction in response to herbivory or wounding in crop species remain unknown.

Previous work of Professor Jingquan Yu and his colleagues showed that electrical signals were generated in tomato plants response to nematode attack. These signals propagated from roots to shoots to activate Jasmonic acid (JA) accumulation and confers nematodes resistance.

Based on the surface potential determination technology, in this study, Professor Yu and his colleagues found that herbivory and mechanical wounding on tomato leaves elicited electrical signals with an amplitude of about –20 to –40 mV. Electrical signals elicited by petiole wounds were stronger than those caused by leaf wounds, with larger amplitude and greater propagation. In different with electrical signals transduction in Arabidopsis, electrical signals were not transduced from leaf to leaf in tomato but could propagate from leaflet to leaflet within a compound leaf. Thus, electrical signals in plants vary widely and the strength and transduction of electrical signals depend on the type of damage, wound position, plant species and plant growth stage.

Further qRT-PCR analysis of JA biosynthesis- and signaling-related genes showed that the transcript levels of the JA synthesis-related genes LOXD, OPR3 and the JA signaling-related gene JAZ10 increased significantly in both wounded leaflet and undamaged leaflet. The intensity of wound activated JA signaling was consistent with the transduction of electrical signals, suggesting the interaction of electrical signals and JA signaling.

The roles of tomato glutamate receptor-like (GLR) genes GLR3.3 and GLR3.5 in regulating electrical signals and JA accumulation were next demonstrated by the researchers. They found that glr3.5 mutants and glr3.3/3.5 double mutants showed reduced electrical signal intensity in response to mechanical wounding, displaying lower amplitudes within the wounded leaflets compared with those displayed by untransformed plants. The propagation of electrical signals from wounded leaflet to undamaged leaflet was abolished in the glr3.3, glr3.5 and glr3.3/3.5 mutants. Moreover, the glr3.3/3.5 mutants accumulated reduced amounts of JA and JA-Ile upon simulated herbivory and the glr3.5 and glr3.3/3.5 mutants presented significantly decreased resistance to cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera).

“Our study highlights the characteristics of electrical signals in tomato horticultural plant elicited by herbivory and wounding and emphasizes the role of GLR genes in JA synthesis and herbivores resistance, which will provide new insights into the mechanism of herbivory defense in crop plants and the potential role of electrical signals in balancing defense and growth tradeoffs in plants in response to herbivory”said Professor Yu.

Reference: Chaoyi HU, Siqi DUAN, Jie ZHOU, Jingquan YU. CHARACTERISTICS OF HERBIVORY/WOUND-ELICITED ELECTRICAL SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION IN TOMATO. Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering, 2021,8(2): 292–301

About Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering

Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering (FASE) is an international journal, which is aimed to publish papers that advance the understanding of scientific, technological/engineering, socioeconomic, institutional/policy and management factors that drive current and future agricultural productivity and sustainability. Our goal is to use FASE as a platform to foster scientific information flow, stimulate transdisciplinary inquiries that have strong multi-disciplinary connections, and cultivate research and idea exchanges that address agricultural sustainability challenges regionally and globally.                                           

FASE is an open-access journal published quarterly with no page charges. Contributions may include cutting-edge research, science news, commentaries, perspectives, or reviews. In addition to publishing regular review and research articles, the journal also publishes‘Hot Topic’issues that focus on strategically selected subject matter of high impact, or emerging concerns to address future agricultural development pathways at regional and global levels, and are guest-edited by scientists in their areas of research. Proposals for special issues are welcome and can be submitted any time.

About Higher Education Press

Founded in May 1954, Higher Education Press Limited Company (HEP), affiliated with the Ministry of Education, is one of the earliest institutions committed to educational publishing after the establishment of P. R. China in 1949. After striving for six decades, HEP has developed into a major comprehensive publisher, with products in various forms and at different levels. Both for import and export, HEP has been striving to fill in the gap of domestic and foreign markets and meet the demand of global customers by collaborating with more than 200 partners throughout the world and selling products and services in 32 languages globally. Now, HEP ranks among China's top publishers in terms of copyright export volume and the world's top 50 largest publishing enterprises in terms of comprehensive strength.

The Frontiers Journals series published by HEP includes 28 English academic journals, covering the largest academic fields in China at present. Among the series, 13 have been indexed by SCI, 6 by EI, 2 by MEDLINE, 1 by A&HCI. HEP's academic monographs have won about 300 different kinds of publishing funds and awards both at home and abroad.

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