Single‐cell damage elicits regional, nematode‐restricting ethylene responses in roots
The EMBO Journal (2019) 38: e100972,
Marhavý P, Kurenda A, Siddique S, Dénervaud Tendon V, Zhou F, Holbein J, Hasan MS, Grundler FM, Farmer EE, Geldner N

Plants are exposed to cellular damage by mechanical stresses, herbivore feeding, or invading microbes. Primary wound responses are communicated to neighboring and distal tissues by mobile signals. In leaves, crushing of large cell populations activates a long‐distance signal, causing jasmonate production in distal organs. This is mediated by a cation channel‐mediated depolarization wave and is associated with cytosolic Ca2+ transient currents. Here, we report that much more restricted, single‐cell wounding in roots by laser ablation elicits non‐systemic, regional surface potential changes, calcium waves, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Surprisingly, laser ablation does not induce a robust jasmonate response, but regionally activates ethylene production and ethylene‐response markers. This ethylene activation depends on calcium channel activities distinct from those in leaves, as well as a specific set of NADPH oxidases. Intriguingly, nematode attack elicits very similar responses, including membrane depolarization and regional upregulation of ethylene markers. Moreover, ethylene signaling antagonizes nematode feeding, delaying initial syncytial‐phase establishment. Regional signals caused by single‐cell wounding thus appear to constitute a relevant root immune response against small invaders.

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