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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Systemic acquired tolerance to virulent bacterial pathogens in tomato.

Recent studies on the interactions between plants and pathogenic microorganisms indicate that the processes of disease symptom development and pathogen growth can be uncoupled. Thus, in many instances, the symptoms associated with disease represent an active host response to the presence of a pathogen. These host responses are frequently mediated by phytohormones. For example, ethylene and salicylic acid (SA) mediate symptom development but do not influence bacterial growth in the interaction between tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and virulent Xanthomonas campestris pv vesicatoria (Xcv). It is not apparent why extensive tissue death is integral to a defense response if it does not have the effect of limiting pathogen proliferation. One possible function for this hormone-mediated response is to induce a systemic defense response. We therefore assessed the systemic responses of tomato to Xcv. SA- and ethylene-deficient transgenic lines were used to investigate the roles of these phytohormones in systemic signaling. Virulent and avirulent Xcv did induce a systemic response as evidenced by expression of defense-associated pathogenesis-related genes in an ethylene- and SA-dependent manner. This systemic response reduced cell death but not bacterial growth during subsequent challenge with virulent Xcv. This systemic acquired tolerance (SAT) consists of reduced tissue damage in response to secondary challenge with a virulent pathogen with no effect upon pathogen growth. SAT was associated with a rapid ethylene and pathogenesis-related gene induction upon challenge. SAT was also induced by infection with Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato. These data show that SAT resembles systemic acquired resistance without inhibition of pathogen growth.[1]


  1. Systemic acquired tolerance to virulent bacterial pathogens in tomato. Block, A., Schmelz, E., O'Donnell, P.J., Jones, J.B., Klee, H.J. Plant Physiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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