Inoculation of one true leaf of cucumber ( Cucumis sativus L.) plants with Pseudomonas syringae pathovar syringae results in the systemic appearance of salicylic acid in the phloem exudates from petioles above, below, and at the site of inoculation. Analysis of phloem exudates from the petioles of leaves 1 and 2 demonstrated that the earliest increases in salicylic acid occurred 8 hours after inoculation of leaf 1 in leaf 1 and 12 hours after inoculation of leaf 1 in leaf 2. Detaching leaf 1 at intervals after inoculation demonstrated that leaf 1 must remain attached for only 4 hours after inoculation to result in the systemic accumulation of salicylic acid. Because the levels of salicylic acid in phloem exudates from leaf 1 did not increase to detectable levels until at least 8 hours after inoculation with P. s. pathovar syringae , the induction of increased levels of salicylic acid throughout the plant are presumably the result of another chemical signal generated from leaf 1 within 4 hours after inoculation. Injection of salicylic acid into tissues at concentrations found in the exudates induced resistance to disease and increased peroxidase activity. Our results support a role for salicylic acid as an endogenous inducer of resistance, but our data also suggest that salicylic acid is not the primary systemic signal of induced resistance in cucumber.
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