Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology

Plant defence responses: what have we learnt from Arabidopsis?

Louise F. Thatcher A B , Jonathan P. Anderson A and Karam B. Singh A C

A CSIRO Plant Industry, Centre for Environment and Life Sciences, Private Bag 5, Wembley, WA 6913, Australia.

B Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, School of Earth and Geographical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email:

Functional Plant Biology 32(1) 1-19
Submitted: 4 August 2004  Accepted: 19 September 2004   Published: 21 January 2005


To overcome the attack of invading pathogens, a plant’s defence system relies on preformed and induced responses. The induced responses are activated following detection of a pathogen, with the subsequent transmission of signals and orchestrated cellular events aimed at eliminating the pathogen and preventing its spread. Numerous studies are proving that the activated signalling pathways are not simply linear, but rather, form complex networks where considerable cross talk takes place. This review covers the recent application of powerful genetic and genomic approaches to identify key defence signalling pathways in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. The identification of key regulatory components of these pathways may offer new approaches to increase the defence capabilities of crop plants.

Keywords: biotic stress, ethylene, hydrogen peroxide, jasmonate, nitric oxide, pathogen, plant defense, salicylic acid.


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