Peptide REF1 is a local wound signal promoting plant regeneration

Cell. 2024 Jun 6;187(12):3024-3038.e14. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2024.04.040. Epub 2024 May 22.


Plants frequently encounter wounding and have evolved an extraordinary regenerative capacity to heal the wounds. However, the wound signal that triggers regenerative responses has not been identified. Here, through characterization of a tomato mutant defective in both wound-induced defense and regeneration, we demonstrate that in tomato, a plant elicitor peptide (Pep), REGENERATION FACTOR1 (REF1), acts as a systemin-independent local wound signal that primarily regulates local defense responses and regenerative responses in response to wounding. We further identified PEPR1/2 ORTHOLOG RECEPTOR-LIKE KINASE1 (PORK1) as the receptor perceiving REF1 signal for plant regeneration. REF1-PORK1-mediated signaling promotes regeneration via activating WOUND-INDUCED DEDIFFERENTIATION 1 (WIND1), a master regulator of wound-induced cellular reprogramming in plants. Thus, REF1-PORK1 signaling represents a conserved phytocytokine pathway to initiate, amplify, and stabilize a signaling cascade that orchestrates wound-triggered organ regeneration. Application of REF1 provides a simple method to boost the regeneration and transformation efficiency of recalcitrant crops.

Keywords: REF1; REGENERATION FACTOR1; local defense responses; phytocytokine; plant elicitor peptide; regeneration; systemic defense responses; tomato; wound responses; wound signal.

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins* / genetics
  • Plant Proteins* / metabolism
  • Regeneration*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Solanum lycopersicum* / metabolism


  • Plant Proteins
  • Peptides