Wound-Induced Proteinase Inhibitor in Plant Leaves: A Possible Defense Mechanism against Insects

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Science  18 Feb 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4023, pp. 776-777
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4023.776


Wounding of the leaves of potato or tomato plants by adult Colorado potato beetles, or their larvae, induces a rapid accumulation of a proteinase inhibitor throughout the plants' tissues that are exposed to air. This effect of insect damage can be simulated by mechanically wounding the leaves. The transport of a factor out of damaged leaves takes place rapidly after the wound is inflicted and the levels of proteinase inhibitor, in both damaged and adjacent leaves, rises strikingly within a few hours. The rapid accumulation of a powerful inhibitor of major intestinal proteinases of animals in response to wounding of the leaves is probably a defense mechanism.

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