Department of Plant Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, U.S.A.
Plant-pathogen interactions are known to be affected by environmental factors including temperature; however, the temperature effects have not been systematically studied in plant disease resistance. Here, we characterized the effects of a moderate increase in temperature on resistance to bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae and two viral elicitors in Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana benthamiana. Both the basal and the resistance (R) gene--mediated defense responses to Pseudomonas syringae are found to be inhibited by a moderately high temperature, and hypersensitive responses induced by R genes against two viruses are also reduced by an increase of temperature. These indicate that temperature modulation of defense responses to biotrophic and hemibiotrophic pathogens might be a general phenomenon. We further investigated the roles of two small signaling molecules, salicylic acid and jasmonic acid, as well as two defense regulators, EDS1 and PAD4, in this temperature modulation. These components, though modulated by temperature or involved in temperature regulation or both, are not themselves determinants of temperature sensitivity in the defense responses analyzed. The inhibition of plant defense response by a moderately high temperature may thus be mediated by other defense signaling components or a combination of multiple factors.