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Glutamate signaling enhances the heat tolerance of maize seedlings by plant glutamate receptor-like channels-mediated calcium signaling

  • Zhong-Guang LiEmail author
  • Xin-Yu Ye
  • Xue-Mei Qiu
Short Communication


Glutamate (Glu), a neurotransmitter in animal, is a novel signaling molecule in plants, which takes part in cellular metabolism, seed germination, plant growth, development, and long-distance information transfer. However, whether Glu can enhance the heat tolerance in maize seedlings and its relation to calcium signaling is still elusive. In this study, maize seedlings were pretreated with Glu and then exposed to heat stress. The results showed that Glu pretreatment enhanced the survival percentage of maize seedlings under heat tolerance, indicating that Glu could increase the heat tolerance of maize seedlings. The Glu-induced heat tolerance was weakened by exogenous calcium chloride, plasma membrane Ca2+ channel blocker (LaCl3), Ca2+ chelator (ethylene glycol-bis(b-aminoethylether)-N,N, N΄,N΄-tetraacetic acid), calmodulin antagonists (trifluoperazine and chlopromazine), and plant glutamate receptor-like antagonists (MgCl2 and 6,7-dinitroquinoxaline- 2,3-(1H,4H)- dione). These findings for the first time reported that Glu could increase the heat tolerance of maize seedlings by plant glutamate receptor-like channels-mediated calcium signaling.


Calcium signaling Glutamate Heat stress Heat tolerance Maize seedlings 


Author’s contributions

ZGL conceived, designed, and performed experiments and wrote manuscript, XYY and XMQ assisted the whole experiment process. All authors have approved the final version of the manuscript.

Funding information

This research is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (31760069, 31360057).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life SciencesYunnan Normal UniversityKunmingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Engineering Research Center of Sustainable Development and Utilization of Biomass EnergyMinistry of EducationKunmingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Biomass Energy and Environmental Biotechnology, Yunnan ProvinceYunnan Normal UniversityKunmingPeople’s Republic of China

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