J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2017, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (8): 552-571.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12545

• Plant-environmental Interactions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

JA but not JA-Ile is the cell-nonautonomous signal activating JA mediated systemic defenses to herbivory in Nicotiana attenuata

Tohir A. Bozorov1,2*, Son Truong Dinh1,3 and Ian T. Baldwin1*   

  1. 1Department of Molecular Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, D-07745, Jena, Germany
    2Institute of Genetics and Plants Experimental Biology, Uzbek Academy of Sciences, Yukori-Yuz, 111226, Kibray, Tashkent Region, Uzbekistan
    3Department of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Biotechnology ?Vietnam National University of Agriculture, 100000, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Received:2016-11-05 Accepted:2017-04-17 Published:2017-04-19
  • About author:**Correspondences: E-mail: Tohir A. Bozorov (tohirbozorov@yahoo.com), Ian T. Baldwin (baldwin@ice.mpg.de)(Dr. Baldwin is fully responsible for the distribution of all materials associated with this article)


The whole-plant activation of defense responses to wounding and herbivory requires systemic signaling in which jasmonates (JAs) play a pivotal role. To examine the nature of the slower cell-nonautonomous as compared to the rapid cell-autonomous signal in mediating systemic defenses in Nicotiana attenuata, reciprocal stem grafting-experiments were used with plants silenced for the JA biosynthetic gene ALLENE OXIDE CYCLASE (irAOC) or plants transformed to create JA sinks by ectopically expressing Arabidopsis JA-O-methyltransferase (ovJMT). JA-impaired irAOC plants were defective in the cell-nonautonomous signaling pathway but not in JA transport. Conversely, ovJMT plants abrogated the production of a graft-transmissible JA signal. Both genotypes displayed unaltered cell-autonomous signaling. Defense responses (17-hydroxygeranyllinalool diterpene glycosides, nicotine, and proteinase inhibitors) and metabolite profiles were differently induced in irAOC and ovJMT scions in response to graft-transmissible signals from elicited wild type stocks. The performance of Manduca sexta larvae on the scions of different graft combinations was consistent with the patterns of systemic defense metabolite elicitations. Taken together, we conclude that JA and possibly MeJA, but not JA-Ile, either directly functions as a long-distance transmissible signal or indirectly interacts with long distance signal(s) to activate systemic defense responses.

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