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Redox regulation of intercellular transport

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Abstract

Plant cells communicate with each other via plasmodesmata (PDs) in order to orchestrate specific responses to environmental and developmental cues. At the same time, environmental signals regulate this communication by promoting changes in PD structure that modify symplastic permeability and, in extreme cases, isolate damaged cells. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are key messengers in plant responses to a range of biotic and abiotic stresses. They are also generated during normal metabolism, and mediate signaling pathways that modulate plant growth and developmental transitions. Recent research has suggested the participation of ROS in the regulation of PD transport. The study of several developmental and stress-induced processes revealed a co-regulation of ROS and callose (a cell wall polymer that regulates molecular flux through PDs). The identification of Arabidopsis mutants simultaneously affected in cell redox homeostasis and PD transport, and the histological detection of hydrogen peroxide and peroxidases in the PDs of the tomato vascular cambium provide new information in support of this novel regulatory mechanism. Here, we describe the evidence that supports a role for ROS in the regulation of callose deposition and/or in the formation of secondary PD, and discuss the potential importance of this mechanism during plant growth or defense against environmental stresses.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Xu Xianfeng (Morgan) for useful comments on the text prior to submission. The John Innes Centre receives a grant-in-aid from the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso.

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Benitez-Alfonso, Y., Jackson, D. & Maule, A. Redox regulation of intercellular transport. Protoplasma 248, 131–140 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00709-010-0243-4

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