Author(s): Wasternack C, Hause B
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Abstract Plants are sessile organisms. Consequently they have to adapt constantly to fluctuations in the environment. Some of these changes involve essential factors such as nutrients, light, and water. Plants have evolved independent systems to sense nutrients such as phosphate and nitrogen. However, many of the environmental factors may reach levels which represent stress for the plant. The fluctuations can range between moderate and unfavorable, and the factors can be of biotic or abiotic origin. Among the biotic factors influencing plant life are pathogens and herbivores. In case of bacteria and fungi, symbiotic interactions such as nitrogen-fixating nodules and mycorrhiza, respectively, may be established. In case of insects, a tritrophic interaction of herbivores, carnivores, and plants may occur mutualistically or parasitically. Among the numerous abiotic factors are low temperature, frost, heat, high light conditions, ultraviolet light, darkness, oxidation stress, hypoxia, wind, touch, nutrient imbalance, salt stress, osmotic adjustment, water deficit, and desiccation. In the last decade jasmonates were recognized as being signals in plant responses to most of these biotic and abiotic factors. Signaling via jasmonates was found to occur intracellularly, intercellularly, and systemically as well as interorganismically. Jasmonates are a group of ubiquitously occurring plant growth regulators originally found as the major constituents in the etheric oil of jasmine, and were first suggested to play a role in senescence due to a strong senescence-promoting effect. Subsequently, numerous developmental processes were described in which jasmonates exhibited hormone-like properties. Recent knowledge is reviewed here on jasmonates and their precursors, the octadecanoids. After discussing occurrence and biosynthesis, emphasis is placed upon the signal transduction pathways in plant stress responses in which jasmonates act as a signal. Finally, examples are described on the role of jasmonates in developmental processes.
This article was published in Prog Nucleic Acid Res Mol Biol
and referenced in Journal of Plant Biochemistry & Physiology