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Methyljasmonate and α-linolenic acid are potent inducers of tendril coiling

Elisabeth Falkenstein, Beate Groth, Axel Mithöfer and Elmar W. Weiler
Planta
Vol. 185, No. 3 (1991), pp. 316-322
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23381297
Page Count: 7
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Methyljasmonate and α-linolenic acid are potent inducers of tendril coiling
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Abstract

A coiling-inducing factor was isolated from tendrils of Bryonia dioica Jacq. and identified by infrared, 1H-, 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry as α-linolenic acid. When applied to detached tendrils, exogenous α-linolenic acid, but not linoleic acid or oleic acid, induced tendril coiling. Further investigations showed that metabolites of α-linolenic acid, jasmonic acid and, even more so, methyljasmonate, are highly effective inducers of tendril coiling in B. dioica. Methyljasmonate was most active when administered by air and, in atmospheric concentrations as low as 40—80 nM, induced a full free-coiling response with kinetics similar to mechanical stimulation. Even atmospheric levels as low as 4—5 nM methyljasmonate were still found to be significantly active. Methyljasmonate could be one of the endogenous chemical signals produced in mechanically stimulated parts of a tendril and, being highly volatile, act as a diffusible gaseous mediator spreading through the intracellular spaces to trigger free coiling of tendrils.

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