Plant Biotechnology Reports

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 409–419 | Cite as

Volatile methyl jasmonate is a transmissible form of jasmonate and its biosynthesis is involved in systemic jasmonate response in wounding

  • Guepil Jang
  • Jae Sung Shim
  • Choonkyun Jung
  • Jong Tae Song
  • Han Yong Lee
  • Pil Joong Chung
  • Ju-Kon Kim
  • Yang Do ChoiEmail author
Original Article


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) easily diffuse due to their high hydrophobicity. Because of this physical property, VOCs are able to act as crucial signalling molecules mediating intercellular and interplant communication. Methyl jasmonate (MeJA) is a volatile ester form of jasmonic acid (JA) that is involved in interplant communication in response to biotic and abiotic stresses. Despite its function in interplant communication, the specific role of MeJA in the regulation of intercellular jasmonate responses have been poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrated that MeJA is much more effective than JA in inducing jasmonate response, and the higher efficacy of MeJA relies on its volatile property. To understand the function of MeJA in the regulation of the jasmonate response, we analysed function of JMT gene, Jasmonic acid Methyl Transferase using its knockout mutant (jmt) and overexpressing plants (35S:JMT). Mutant plants that lack JMT expression exhibited reduced jasmonate response, while JMT-overexpressing plants exhibited a higher jasmonate response to JA treatment compared to wild-type plants. In this study, we also showed that JMT is specifically expressed in the phloem, the main vascular system for the transport of phytohormones, and that JMT expression affects systemic jasmonate response in wounding. These results suggest the volatile MeJA is a transmissible form of jasmonate and that its biosynthesis is involved in systemic jasmonate response in wounding.


Methyl jasmonate Volatile organic compound Jasmonic acid methyl transferase Jasmonate response Wound stress Systemic jasmonate response 



We thank the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock Center for providing jmt (GT8009). This work was supported by a grant from the Next-Generation BioGreen 21 Program (project nos. PJ008053 to Y.D.C. and PJ007971 to J.-K.K.), Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea, through the National Center for GM Crops. A graduate research assistantship to J.S.S. from the Brain Korea 21 Plus project of the MOE is also acknowledged.

Supplementary material

11816_2014_331_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 2403 kb)


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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Plant Biotechnology and Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guepil Jang
    • 1
  • Jae Sung Shim
    • 1
  • Choonkyun Jung
    • 1
  • Jong Tae Song
    • 2
  • Han Yong Lee
    • 1
  • Pil Joong Chung
    • 3
  • Ju-Kon Kim
    • 3
  • Yang Do Choi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Biotechnology and Research Institute of Agriculture and Life SciencesSeoulKorea
  2. 2.School of Applied BiosciencesKyungpook National UniversityDaeguKorea
  3. 3.Institute of Green Bio Science TechnologySeoul National UniversityPyeongchangKorea

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