Glutamate is a wound-induced signal that activates long-distance calcium signaling (Science)

Several years of intensive research have revealed a suite of mobile signals that travel long-distances to inform meristems on developmental phase transitions or to protect distal plant tissues from abiotic or biotic stressors. In a new article published in Science, Toyota et al. (2018) identify a role for glutamate as a wound-induced signal that activates long-distance stress signaling. The authors demonstrate that apoplastic glutamate increased in wounded plants and is sensed by GLUTAMATE RECEPTOR-LIKE FAMILY proteins. This recognition leads to an astonishingly robust wave of intracellular calcium accumulation that propagates quickly through the plant phloem and plasmodesmata to reach distal tissues. Wound and glutamate-triggered systemic signaling ultimately activates defense responses throughout the plant body, thus protecting plants from future wound-related stressors. (Summary by Phil Carella) Science 10.1126/science.aat7744