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Corina Vlot publishes a review on the role of terpenoids in plant immunity; the authors hypothesize that these volatile compounds fine-tune cross talk between defense-associated phytohormones.

Volatile terpenes - mediators of plant-to-plant communication.

The Plant Journal (2021) 108, 617–631

Maaria Rosenkranz, Yuanyuan Chen, Peiyuan Zhu and A. Corina Vlot (2021).

Plants interact with other organisms employing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The largest group of plant-released VOCs are terpenes, comprised of isoprene, monoterpenes, and sesquiterpenes. Mono- and sesquiterpenes are well-known communication compounds in plant–insect interactions, whereas the smallest, most commonly emitted terpene, isoprene, is rather assigned a function in combating abiotic stresses. Recently, it has become evident that different volatile terpenes also act as plant-to-plant signaling cues. Upon being perceived, specific volatile terpenes can sensitize distinct signaling pathways in receiver plant cells, which in turn trigger plant innate immune responses. This vastly extends the range of action of volatile terpenes, which not only protect plants from various biotic and abiotic stresses, but also convey information about environmental constraints within and between plants. As a result, plant–insect and plant–pathogen interactions, which are believed to influence each other through phytohormone crosstalk, are likely equally sensitive to reciprocal regulation via volatile terpene cues. Here, we review the current knowledge of terpenes as volatile semiochemicals and discuss why and how volatile terpenes make good signaling cues. We discuss how volatile terpenes may be perceived by plants, what are possible downstream signaling events in receiver plants, and how responses to different terpene cues might interact to orchestrate the net plant response to multiple stresses. Finally, we discuss how the signal can be further transmitted to the community level leading to a mutually beneficial community-scale response or distinct signaling with near kin.