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Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Vol. 20, 2014; Pages:
104 - 109

Staying in touch: mechanical signals in plant–microbe interactions

Dhileepkumar Jayaraman, Simon Gilroy, Jean-Michel Ane

Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, United States


Mechanical stimulations play a significant role in the day to day existence of plants. Plants exhibit varied responses depending on the nature and intensity of these stimuli. In this review, we present recent literature on the responses of plants to mechanical stimuli, focusing primarily on those exerted during plant–microbe interactions. We discuss how microbes are able to apply mechanical stimuli on plants and how some plant responses to pathogenic and symbiotic microbes present striking similarities with responses to mechanical stimuli applied, for instance, using micro-needles. We hypothesize that appropriate responses of plants to pathogenic and symbiotic microbes may require a tight integration of both chemical and mechanical stimulations exerted by these microbes.


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