A Central Role of Salicylic Acid in Plant Disease Resistance

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Science  18 Nov 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5188, pp. 1247-1250
DOI: 10.1126/science.266.5188.1247

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Transgenic tobacco and Arabidopsis thaliana expressing the bacterial enzyme salicylate hydroxylase cannot accumulate salicylic acid (SA). This defect not only makes the plants unable to induce systemic acquired resistance, but also leads to increased susceptibility to viral, fungal, and bacterial pathogens. The enhanced susceptibility extends even to host-pathogen combinations that would normally result in genetic resistance. Therefore, SA accumulation is essential for expression of multiple modes of plant disease resistance.

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