In cruciferous plants insect attack or physical damage induce the synthesis of the glucosinolate breakdown product indole-3-carbinol, which plays a key role in the defense against attackers. Indole-3-carbinol also affects plant growth and development, acting as an auxin antagonist by binding to the TIR1 auxin receptor. Other potential functions of indole-3-carbinol and the underlying mechanisms in plant biology are unknown. Here we show that an indole-3-carbinol-dependent signal induces specific autophagy in root cells. Leaf treatment with exogenous indole-3-carbinol or leaf-wounding induced autophagy and inhibited auxin response in the root. This induction is lost in glucosinolate-defective mutants, indicating that the effect of indole-3-carbinol is transported in the plants. Thus, indole-3-carbinol is not only a defensive metabolite that repels insects, but is also involved in long-distance communication regulating growth and development in plants.
- wounding Arabidopsis thaliana
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology