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Weights in the Balance: Jasmonic Acid and Salicylic Acid Signaling in Root-Biotroph Interactions

July 2009 , Volume 22 , Number  7
Pages  763 - 772

Caroline Gutjahr and Uta Paszkowski

Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Lausanne, Biophore Building, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

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Accepted 13 March 2009.

Work on the interaction of aerial plant parts with pathogens has identified the signaling molecules jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA) as important players in induced defense of the plant against invading organisms. Much less is known about the role of JA and SA signaling in root infection. Recent progress has been made in research on plant interactions with biotrophic mutualists and parasites that exclusively associate with roots, namely arbuscular mycorrhizal and rhizobial symbioses on one hand and nematode and parasitic plant interactions on the other hand. Here, we review these recent advances relating JA and SA signaling to specific stages of root colonization and discuss how both signaling molecules contribute to a balance between compatibility and defense in mutualistic as well as parasitic biotroph-root interactions.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society