Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences, Section Phytopathology, Faculty of Biology, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 800.84, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands
Salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and ethylene (ET) are each involved in the regulation of basal resistance against different pathogens. These three signals play important roles in induced resistance as well. SA is a key regulator of pathogen-induced systemic acquired resistance (SAR), whereas JA and ET are required for rhizobacteria-mediated induced systemic resistance (ISR). Both types of induced resistance are effective against a broad spectrum of pathogens. In this study, we compared the spectrum of effectiveness of SAR and ISR using an oomycete, a fungal, a bacterial, and a viral pathogen. In noninduced Arabidopsis plants, these pathogens are primarily resisted through either SA-dependent basal resistance (Peronospora parasitica and Turnip crinkle virus [TCV]), JA/ET-dependent basal resistance responses (Alternaria brassicicola), or a combination of SA-, JA-, and ET-dependent defenses (Xanthomonas campestris pv. armoraciae). Activation of ISR resulted in a significant level of protection against A. brassicicola, whereas SAR was ineffective against this pathogen. Conversely, activation of SAR resulted in a high level of protection against P. parasitica and TCV, whereas ISR conferred only weak and no protection against P. parasitica and TCV, respectively. Induction of SAR and ISR was equally effective against X. campestris pv. armoraciae. These results indicate that SAR is effective against pathogens that in noninduced plants are resisted through SA-dependent defenses, whereas ISR is effective against pathogens that in noninduced plants are resisted through JA/ET-dependent defenses. This suggests that SAR and ISR constitute a reinforcement of extant SA- or JA/ET-dependent basal defense responses, respectively.