Plant-to-plant communication triggered by systemin primes anti-herbivore resistance in tomato

Plant-to-plant communication allows plant neighbors to be warned by plant peers of stresses such as herbivory activity, sometimes by triggering priming processes. Systemin is an 18-amino acid hormone, firstly identified in tomato as a inducer of the wound response. Coppola et al. report the role of systemin application/overexpression in communication between source tomaro plants (S) and receiver (R) tomato plants. The authors demonstrate that systemin can trigger gene expression (LoxC and AOS) and metabolic changes even in neighboring unchallenged plants, including increased resistance to phytophagous larvae (Spodoptera littoralis). The paper advocates for the possible use of systemin in the development of pest control strategies for tomato cultivation. (Summary by Isabel Mendoza) Sci. Reports. 10.1038/s41598-017-15481-8