Molecular effects of resistance elicitors from biological origin and their potential for crop protection

Lea Wiesel, Adrian C. Newton, Ian Elliott, David Booty, Eleanor M. Gilroy, Paul R. J. Birch, Ingo Hein (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)
181 Downloads (Pure)


Plants contain a sophisticated innate immune network to prevent pathogenic microbes from gaining access to nutrients and from colonizing internal structures. The first layer of inducible response is governed by the plant following the perception of microbe- or modified plant-derived molecules. As the perception of these molecules results in a plant response that can provide efficient resistance toward non-adapted pathogens they can also be described as "defense elicitors." In compatible plant/microbe interactions, adapted microorganisms have means to avoid or disable this resistance response and promote virulence. However, this requires a detailed spatial and temporal response from the invading pathogens. In agricultural practice, treating plants with isolated defense elicitors in the absence of pathogens can promote plant resistance by uncoupling defense activation from the effects of pathogen virulence determinants. The plant responses to plant, bacterial, oomycete, or fungal-derived elicitors are not, in all cases, universal and need elucidating prior to the application in agriculture. This review provides an overview of currently known elicitors of biological rather than synthetic origin and places their activity into a molecular context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number655
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Issue number655
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2014


  • crop protection
  • elicitors
  • pathogen effectors
  • priming
  • disease resistance


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