Open Access Research article

Production of reactive oxygen species and wound-induced resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana against Botrytis cinerea are preceded and depend on a burst of calcium

Emna Beneloujaephajri1, Alex Costa2, Floriane L’Haridon1, Jean-Pierre Métraux1 and Matteo Binda13*

Author affiliations

1 Department of biology, University of Fribourg, Ch. du Musée 10, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland

2 Department of Biosciences, University of Milan, via G. Celoria 26, 20133 Milan, Italy

3 Current address: Medion Grifols Diagnostics AG, Bonnstrasse 9, 3186 Düdingen, Switzerland

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Citation and License

BMC Plant Biology 2013, 13:160  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-160

Published: 17 October 2013



Wounded leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) within minutes after wounding and become resistant to the pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea at a local level. This fast response of the plants to the wound is called wound-induced resistance (WIR). However the molecular mechanisms of this response and the signal cascade between the wound and ROS production are still largely unknown. Calcium is a conserved signal and it is involved in many abiotic stress responses in plants, furthermore, calcium pathways act very fast.


The results of this study show that leaves treated with calcium channels inhibitors (verapamil) or calcium chelators (oxalate and EGTA) are impaired in ROS production. Moreover, leaves treated with verapamil, EGTA or oxalate were more susceptible to B. cinerea after wounding. The intracellular measurements of calcium changes indicated quick but transient calcium dynamics taking place few seconds after wounding in cells neighbouring the wound site. This change in the cytosolic calcium was followed in the same region by a more stable ROS burst.


These data further extend our knowledge on the connection between wounding, calcium influx and ROS production. Moreover they provide for the first time the evidence that, following wounding, calcium changes precede a burst in ROS in the same location.

Arabidopsis thaliana; Botrytis cinerea; Cuticle; Wounding; Resistance; Calcium; ROS