Plants have evolved an elaborate repertoire of responses when challenged with environmental damage. The stress hormone jasmonate (JA) has well-known roles in the biochemical response to tissue damage.
JA also affects plant growth and development. However, the precise role of JA in tissue regeneration and stem cell activation upon wounding is not well understood. Together with the Plant Developmental Biology department led by Ben Scheres, we have recently discovered a molecular network triggered by wound-induced JA that promotes stem cell activation and regeneration. Soil penetration and infections with the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita induce and are dependent on this JA mediated regeneration response. Plant regeneration is key in e.g. grafting and plant tissue culture. This knowledge may allow us to optimally use the molecular regeneration machinery for agricultural applications.