Catechol, a major component of smoke, influences primary root growth and root hair elongation through reactive oxygen species-mediated redox signaling


Nicotiana attenuata germinates from long-lived seedbanks in native soils after fires. Although smoke signals have been known to break seed dormancy, whether they also affect seedling establishment and root development remains unclear. In order to test this, seedlings were treated with smoke solutions. Seedlings responded in a dose-dependent manner with significantly increased primary root lengths, due mainly to longitudinal cell elongation, increased numbers of lateral roots and impaired root hair development. Bioassay-driven fractionations and NMR were used to identify catechol as the main active compound for the smoke-induced root phenotype. The transcriptome analysis revealed that mainly genes related to auxin biosynthesis and redox homeostasis were altered after catechol treatment. However, histochemical analyses of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the inability of auxin applications to rescue the phenotype clearly indicated that highly localized changes in the root's redox-status, rather than in levels of auxin, are the primary effector. Moreover, H2 O2 application rescued the phenotype in a dose-dependent manner. Chemical cues in smoke not only initiate seed germination, but also influence seedling root growth; understanding how these cues work provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms by which plants adapt to post-fire environments.


PubMed ID: 27878986

Projects: C2, Total ChemBioSys

Journal: New Phytol

Citation: New Phytol. 2017 Mar;213(4):1755-1770. doi: 10.1111/nph.14317. Epub 2016 Nov 23.

Date Published: 24th Nov 2016

Authors: M. Wang, M. Schoettner, S. Xu, C. Paetz, J. Wilde, Ian T. Baldwin, K. Groten

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Created: 8th May 2017 at 10:18

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