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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Forage Seed and Cereal Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #299752

Research Project: Improvement of Biotic and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Cool Season Grasses

Location: Forage Seed and Cereal Research

Title: Green leaf volatiles, fire and nonanoic acid activate MAPkinases in the model grass species Lolium temulentum

Author
item Dombrowski, James - Jim
item Martin, Ruth

Submitted to: BMC Research Notes
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/24/2014
Publication Date: 11/18/2014
Citation: Dombrowski, J.E., Martin, R.C.2014. Green leaf volatiles, fire and nonanoic acid activate MAPkinases in the model grass species Lolium temulentum. BMC Research Notes. 7:807.

Interpretive Summary: Forage and turf related grasses are utilized in diverse environments where they are routinely subjected to herbicides, exposed to fire and volatiles after cutting, however very little is known concerning the perception or molecular responses to these different stresses or compounds. This research discovered that a key protein that acts as a conduit for signals perceived by the plant is rapidly activated when forage and turf grasses are exposed to volatiles released from cut grasses, to fire and to compounds found in commonly used herbicides. This class of protein is an important signaling protein that mediates the plants response to stress. This research provides an important step towards elucidating the molecular mechanisms utilized by grasses in response to environmental stresses and the various compounds plants are exposed to in the field and how they are perceived. In the long term this information can lead to improvements and increases in the yield, sustainability and the quality of grasses used as a feedstock for livestock and biofuels in different end-use environments.

Technical Abstract: Forage and turf related grasses are utilized in diverse environments where they are routinely subjected to herbicides and exposed to fire and volatiles after cutting, however very little is known concerning the perception or molecular responses to these different stresses or compounds. In the model grass species Lolium temulentum (Lt), a 46 kDa mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) was activated in the leaves within 5 min and a 44 kDa MAPK 15 min after exposure to green leaf volatiles released from grass clippings. When the tips of leaves of Lt plants were scorched by fire, the 46 kDa MAPK and 44 kDa MAPK were rapidly activated within 5 min and 20 min respectively in the treated leaf, and 15 min systemically in an adjacent untreated tiller after exposure to fire. Nonanoic acid, a component in herbicides used on grasses, activated a 46 kDa MAPK in the treated leaves within 5 min of exposure and 15 min in systemic tissues. At concentrations normally used in the herbicides, nonanoic acid was found to only weakly activate the 44 kDa MAPK after an hour in treated leaves, but strongly activated it in the systemic tillers 30 min after treatment. Acetic acid, HCl and NaOH also were found to activate these MAPKs in treated tillers. The rapid activation of these MAPKs, suggest that these MAPKs play a role in the perception and response to these stresses and compounds