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Primary Metabolism and Plant Defense—Fuel for the Fire

May 2009 , Volume 22 , Number  5
Pages  487 - 497

Melvin D. Bolton

United States Department of Agriculture--Agricultural Research Service, Northern Crops Science Laboratory, Fargo, ND, U.S.A.


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Accepted 9 January 2009.

Plants have the ability to recognize and respond to a multitude of microorganisms. Recognition of pathogens results in a massive reprogramming of the plant cell to activate and deploy defense responses to halt pathogen growth. Such responses are associated with increased demands for energy, reducing equivalents, and carbon skeletons that are provided by primary metabolic pathways. Although pathogen recognition and downstream resistance responses have been the focus of major study, an intriguing and comparatively understudied phenomenon is how plants are able to recruit energy for the defense response. To that end, this review will summarize current research on energy-producing primary metabolism pathways and their role in fueling the resistance response.



The American Phytopathological Society, 2009