Submitted to: Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 20, 2011
Publication Date: January 28, 2011
Citation: Dombrowski, J.E., Hind, S.R., Martin, R.C., Stratmann, J.W. 2011. Wounding systemically activates a mitogen-activated protein kinase in forage and turf grasses. Plant Science. 180:686-693. Interpretive Summary: Grasses are continually cut for hay and grazed by livestock, however very little is known concerning the molecular events that occur in grass plants as a result of wounding. This research discovered that mechanical wounding in forage and turf grasses generate a systemic signal that is perceived in the distal unwounded portions of the plant. This wound generated signal was found to activate an important signaling protein that mediates the plants response. This research provides an important the first step towards elucidating the molecular mechanisms utilized by grasses in response to wounding, which in the long term has great potential to improve and increase the yield, sustainability and quality of grasses used as a feedstock for livestock and biofuels.
Technical Abstract: Forage and turf grasses are continually cut and grazed by livestock, however very little is known concerning the perception or molecular responses to wounding. Mechanical wounding rapidly activated a 46 kDa and a 44 kDa mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in six different grass species. In the model grass species Lolium temulentum, the 46 kDa MAPK was rapidly activated within 5 minutes of wounding, both locally and systemically in an adjacent unwounded tiller. MAPK activity was not enhanced by addition of the pathogen-associated signal salicylic acid (SA) to the wound site nor induced when exposed to methyl jasmonate (MJ), which is a potent inducer of the wound response in dicotyledonous plants. These results demonstrate that wounding in forage and turf grasses generate a rapidly propagated long-distance signal.