A tidal wave of signals: Calcium and ROS at the forefront of rapid systemic signaling

Simon Gilroy, Nobuhiro Suzuki, Gad Miller, Won Gyu Choi, Masatsugu Toyota, Amith R. Devireddy, Ron Mittler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

390 Scopus citations


Systemic signaling pathways enable multicellular organisms to prepare all of their tissues and cells to an upcoming challenge that may initially only be sensed by a few local cells. They are activated in plants in response to different stimuli including mechanical injury, pathogen infection, and abiotic stresses. Key to the mobilization of systemic signals in higher plants are cell-to-cell communication events that have thus far been mostly unstudied. The recent identification of systemically propagating calcium (Ca2+) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) waves in plants has unraveled a new and exciting cell-to-cell communication pathway that, together with electric signals, could provide a working model demonstrating how plant cells transmit long-distance signals via cell-to-cell communication mechanisms. Here, we summarize recent findings on the ROS and Ca2+ waves and outline a possible model for their integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-630
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the NSF [IOS-1353886, IOS-0639964, IOS-0743954 (RM); IOS-11213800, MCB-1329723 (SG)] and NASA [NNX12AK79G (SG)] for financial support and gratefully acknowledge the PRESTO program of The Japanese Science and Technology Agency for funding MT. We must apologize to our many colleagues whose work could not be cited owing to space limitations.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Calcium
  • NADPH oxidase
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Systemic signaling


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