Since the discovery that the plant immune system could be augmented for improved deployment against biotic stressors through the exogenous application of chemicals that lead to induced resistance (IR), many such IR-eliciting agents have been identified. Initially it was hoped that these chemical IR agents would be a benign alternative to traditional chemical biocides. However, owing to low efficacy and/or a realisation that their benefits sometimes come at the cost of growth and yield penalties, chemical IR agents fell out of favour and seldom used as crop protection products. Despite the lack of interest in agricultural use, researchers have continued to explore the efficacy and mechanisms of chemical IR. Moreover, as we move away from the approach of 'zero tolerance' toward plant pests and pathogens toward integrated pest management, chemical IR agents could have a place in the plant protection product list. In this review, we chart the rise and fall of chemical IR agents, and then explore a variety of strategies used to improve their efficacy and remediate their negative side effects. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
- Induced resistance
- biological control