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Article: Cutting-edge plant science - A cure for your plant's viral headache?: SAR, SA and Tomato Plants

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Forum: Article: Cutting-edge plant science - A cure for your plant's viral headache?Replies: 3, Views: 94
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Swannanoa, NC

March 17, 2008
10:59 PM

Post #4676002

I'm currently doing my senior project on developing a method to extract Salicylic Acid from our garden's tomatoes. I've been doing a lot of reading trying to figure out all the latest developments with SA and SAR, but there is a lot out there and I'm not sure I'm finding it all. I'm doing this initial step of developing a method (that our college equipment can handle) so that eventually another student can do an experiment to see if a diseased tomato plant can induce SAR in a nearby healthy plant by the airbourne chemical MeSA (methyl salicylic acid). The idea is that the spray of SA on tomato plants might help fight disease. I was wondering what you thought about the idea of SA as a spray (especially with tomato plants) and if you knew of any research that's been done recently on this idea? After reading this message from you, I'm wondering if my experiment idea has already been done. Any other information you think might be beneficial, please share. Thanks.

Miami, FL
(Zone 10a)

March 17, 2008
11:08 PM

Post #4676035

The work I'm familiar with involved the use of acetylsalicylic acid, which does induce SAR. I have used it successfully as a spray treatment to induce SAR in aroids, specifically Alocasia symptomatic with viral infection. The result is a complete clearing up of the infection.

Research in the induction of SAR, as well as the biochemical mechanism, is fairly extensive. I mentioned the product, "Messenger" in my article; this is a commercial application of the discovery that a protein called harpin protein induces SAR. The product is intended specifically to spray on plants for induction of SAR. Current research has moved beyond the use of SA for induction of SAR and is focused on such things as why some plants exhibit the SAR response and others don't.

Here's one link from the USDA-ARS about salicylic acid and SAR.
Swannanoa, NC

March 19, 2008
7:54 PM

Post #4683207


I read that SA is the only plant derived compound known to induce SAR. Do you know if this is true? I'm confused if also Jasmonic Acid induces SAR (seems not to?) or other phytohormones?
Miami, FL
(Zone 10a)

March 19, 2008
8:30 PM

Post #4683335

Salicylic acid (SA) and Jasmonic acid (JA) are both key signaling molecules in plants, but they signal different responses. In at least one study, researchers found that application of both to plants in the study caused a decrease in the JA response when compared to JA alone. Both compounds signal defense responses, but one (JA) signals physical defense (increase in new leaf trichome density to deter herbivores) and the other (SA), biochemicals against biotrophic pathogens.

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