Paper of the Month February 2019

Touch and plant defence: volatile communication with neighbours


Plants use many cues to get the latest news on their
environment, from different parts of the light spectrum
predicting future shading by neighbours, to volatiles
released by insect-infested plants preparing neighbouring
plants for future attack, or touch providing information
about impending mechanical stress or herbivore
attacks. Markovic et al. (2019) have now shown that gentle
touching of leaves leads to emission of volatiles that
can activate the same set of defence genes in neighbouring
plants as were up-regulated in the touched plant.

Jacob C. Douma and Niels P.R. Anten (2019) Journal of Experimental Botany 70 (2): 371-378

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