Defence priming in Arabidopsis and Seeds – a Meta-Analysis
Scientific Reports 2019, 9(1):13309

Westman S, Kloth KJ, Hanson J, Ohlsson AB, Albrectsen BR

Defence priming by organismal and non-organismal stimulants can reduce effects of biotic stress in plants. Thus, it could help efforts to enhance the sustainability of agricultural production by reducing use of agrochemicals in protection of crops from pests and diseases.

We have explored effects of applying this approach to both Arabidopsis plants and seeds of various crops in meta-analyses. The results show that its effects on Arabidopsis plants depend on both the priming agent and antagonist. Fungi and vitamins can have strong priming effects, and priming is usually more effective against bacterial pathogens than against herbivores.

Moreover, application of bio-stimulants (particularly vitamins and plant defence elicitors) to seeds can have promising defence priming effects. However, the published evidence is scattered,
does not include Arabidopsis, and additional studies are required before we can draw general conclusions and understand the molecular mechanisms involved in priming of seeds’ defences.

In conclusion, defence priming of plants has clear potential and application of bio-stimulants to seeds may protect plants from an early age, promises to be both labour- and resource-efficient, poses very little environmental risk, and is thus both economically and ecologically promising.

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