Sponging of glutamate at the outer plasma membrane surface reveals roles for glutamate in development. Academic Article uri icon


  • Plants use electrical and chemical signals for systemic communication. Herbivory, for instance, appears to trigger local apoplasmic glutamate accumulation, systemic electrical signals, and calcium waves that travel to report insect damage to neighboring leaves and initiate defense. To monitor extra- and intracellular glutamate concentrations in plants, we generated Arabidopsis lines expressing genetically encoded fluorescent glutamate sensors. In contrast to cytosolically localized sensors, extracellularly displayed variants inhibited plant growth and proper development. Phenotypic analyses of high-affinity display sensor lines revealed that root meristem development, particularly the quiescent center, number of lateral roots, vegetative growth, and floral architecture were impacted. Notably, the severity of the phenotypes was positively correlated with the affinity of the display sensors, intimating that their ability to sequester glutamate at the surface of the plasma membrane was responsible for the defects. Root growth defects were suppressed by supplementing culture media with low levels of glutamate. Together, the data indicate that sequestration of glutamate at the cell surface either disrupts the supply of glutamate to meristematic cells and/or impairs localized glutamatergic signaling important for developmental processes.

published proceedings

  • Plant J

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Castro-Rodrguez, V., Kleist, T. J., Gappel, N. M., Atanjaoui, F., Okumoto, S., Machado, M., ... Wudick, M. M.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Castro-Rodríguez, Vanessa||Kleist, Thomas J||Gappel, Nicoline M||Atanjaoui, Fatiha||Okumoto, Sakiko||Machado, Mackenzie||Denyer, Tom||Timmermans, Marja CP||Frommer, Wolf B||Wudick, Michael M

publication date

  • February 2022