Developmental Stages Affect the Capacity to Produce Aldehyde Green Leaf Volatiles in Zea mays and Vigna radiata
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Green leaf volatiles (GLV) are essentially produced by the green parts of plants upon damage. GLV are mainly 6-carbon molecules derived from fatty acids through the hydroperoxide lyase pathway and can serve as airborne signals to other parts of the same plant and to neighboring plants and help to protect them against biotic and abiotic stresses. However, while the biosynthesis is generally well understood, little is known about how plants regulate the production of these important signaling molecules. To better understand how the developmental stage of the plant affects aldehyde GLV production, we selected Zea mays and Vigna radiata to represent mono- and dicot plants for this analysis. We show that the capacity to produce aldehyde GLV strongly depends on the developmental stage of the plant. Major differences in the quantity, and in the quality of these compounds were found, not only in leaves from different developmental stages, but also in different areas within a leaf. The results demonstrate that the capacity to produce GLV varies significantly within a plant and the potential implications of these findings are discussed.