Research report 2015 - Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

How insect feeding makes leaves shine

Authors
Mithöfer, Axel; Boland, Wilhelm
Departments
Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie, Jena
Summary
Calcium ions (Ca2+) represent the most important intracellular second messengers in the signaling networks of plants. After herbivore damage the opening of specific ion channels achieve a rapid transient increase of the cytoplasmatic Ca2+-level. The enhanced concentrations can be monitored in planta after expression of the bioluminescent Aequorin, that emits light upon binding of Ca2+-ions. The signal spreads with ca. 1-2 cm/min in the directly connected vascular system and corresponds with the speed of electrical signals triggered by herbivore damage.

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