Biphasic ethylene production during the hypersensitive response in Arabidopsis: A window into defence priming mechanisms?

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-613
Number of pages4
JournalPlant Signaling and Behavior
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2009
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The hypersensitive response (HR) is a cell death phenomenon associated with localised resistance to pathogens. Biphasic patterns in the generation of H2O2, salicylic acid and ethylene have been observed in tobacco during the early stages of the HR. These biphasic models reflect an initial elicitation by pathogen-associated molecular patterns followed by a second phase, induced by pathogen-encoded avirulence gene products. The first phase has been proposed to potentiate the second, to increase the efficacy of plant resistance to disease. This potentiation is comparable to the “priming” of plant defences which is seen when plants display systemic resistance to disease. The events regulating the generation of the biphasic wave, or priming, remains obscure, however recently we demonstrated a key role for nitric oxide in this process in a HR occurring in tobacco. Here we use laser photoacoustic detection to demonstrate that biphasic ethylene production also occurs during a HR occurring in Arabidopsis. We suggest that ethylene emanation during the HR represents a ready means of visualising biphasic events during the HR and that exploiting the genomic resources offered by this model species will facilitate the development of a mechanistic understanding of potentiating / priming processes.


  • hypersensitive response, biphasic patterns, potentiation, defense priming , ethulene, arabidopsis