The plant NADPH oxidase RBOHD mediates rapid systemic signaling in response to diverse stimuli

Sci Signal. 2009 Aug 18;2(84):ra45. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.2000448.


Cell-to-cell communication and long-distance signaling play a key role in the response of plants to pests, mechanical wounding, and extreme environmental conditions. Here, we report on a rapid systemic signal in Arabidopsis thaliana that traveled at a rate of 8.4 centimeters per minute and was dependent on the respiratory burst oxidase homolog D (RbohD) gene. Signal propagation was accompanied by the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the extracellular spaces between cells and was inhibited by the suppression of ROS accumulation at locations distant from the initiation site. The rapid systemic signal was triggered by wounding, heat, cold, high-intensity light, and salinity stresses. Our results reveal the profound role that ROS play in mediating rapid, long-distance, cell-to-cell propagating signals in plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aphids / physiology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / parasitology
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Hot Temperature
  • Light
  • Luciferases / genetics
  • Luciferases / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • NADPH Oxidases / genetics
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / radiation effects
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Stress, Mechanical


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Luciferases
  • NADPH Oxidases