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Special Issue "Plant Innate Immunity"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (27 March 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Marcello Iriti Website E-Mail
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Milan State University, Milan, Italy
Interests: Medicinal plants; Bioactive phytochemicals; Phytotherapy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Even if immunology has been purely regarded as a medical science, immunity represents a trait common to many living organisms. Classically, the mammalian immune system consists of innate and adaptive mechanisms that protect the host from pathogens; in particular, innate mechanisms function independently of previous exposure of the host to the infectious agent.

Animal and plant innate immunities share some similarities, and plants, as the animals, are capable of recognizing and distinguishing between self and non-self. Recognition by the innate immune system is based on germline-encoded receptors (also called pattern recognition receptors, PRRs) expressed on host cells which sense conserved structural components and metabolism products of fungi, bacteria and viruses (known as pathogen-associated molecular patterns, PAMPs) including lipids, polysaccharides, proteins and nucleic acids. During their evolutionary history, plants have developed various defence strategies in order to face pathogens. Although lacking immunoglobulin molecules, circulating cells and phagocytic processes, the effectors of the mammalian immunity, plants possess a rather complex and efficient innate immune system. Therefore, disease is a rare outcome in the spectrum of plant-microbe interactions because plants have (co)evolved a complex set of defence mechanisms to hinder pathogen challenging and, in most cases, prevent infection. The battery of defence reactions includes physical and chemical barriers, both preformed (or constitutive or passive) and inducible (or active), depending on whether they are pre-existing features of the plant or are switched on after challenging. When a pathogen is able to overcome these defences, disease ceases to be the exception.

We invite investigators to submit both original research and review articles that explore all the aspects of the plant innate immunity.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Host resistance

  • Non-host resistance

  • Systemic acquired resistance (SAR)

  • Induced systemic resistance (ISR)

  • Plant-microbe interaction

  • Plant-insect interaction

  • Plant-nematode interaction

  • Elicitors

  • Plant activators

  • PAMPs/MAMPs/DAMPs (pathogen/microbe/damage-associated molecular patterns)

  • PRRs (pattern recognition receptors)

  • Hypersensitive response/Programmed cell death (PCD)

  • Phytoanticipins

  • Phytoalexins

  • Ribosome inactivating proteins

  • Pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins

  • Fitness costs

Prof. Dr. Marcello Iriti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Crop protection

  • Plant diseases

  • Systemic acquired immunity

  • Defence metabolism

  • Secondary metabolites

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Moving to the Field: Plant Innate Immunity in Crop Protection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18030640 - 15 Mar 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
In natural ecosystems, disease is not the rule, but a rare outcome in the spectrum of plant–microbe interaction, since plants have developed, during their evolutionary history, various defence strategies to face pathogens.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Innate Immunity)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Digital Gene Expression Analysis of Ponkan Mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco) in Response to Asia Citrus Psyllid-Vectored Huanglongbing Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(7), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17071063 - 02 Jul 2016
Cited by 7
Abstract
Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB), the most destructive citrus disease, can be transmitted by psyllids and diseased budwoods. Although the final symptoms of the two main HLB transmission ways were similar and hard to distinguish, the host responses might be different. In this study, the [...] Read more.
Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB), the most destructive citrus disease, can be transmitted by psyllids and diseased budwoods. Although the final symptoms of the two main HLB transmission ways were similar and hard to distinguish, the host responses might be different. In this study, the global gene changes in leaves of ponkan (Citrus reticulata) mandarin trees following psyllid-transmission of HLB were analyzed at the early symptomatic stage (13 weeks post inoculation, wpi) and late symptomatic stage (26 wpi) using digital gene expression (DGE) profiling. At 13 wpi, 2452 genes were downregulated while only 604 genes were upregulated in HLB infected ponkan leaves but no pathway enrichment was identified. Gene function analysis showed impairment in defense at the early stage of infection. At late stage of 26 wpi, however, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) involved in carbohydrate metabolism, plant defense, hormone signaling, secondary metabolism, transcription regulation were overwhelmingly upregulated, indicating that the defense reactions were eventually activated. The results indicated that HLB bacterial infection significantly influenced ponkan gene expression, and a delayed response of the host to the fast growing bacteria might be responsible for its failure in fighting against the bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Innate Immunity)
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Open AccessArticle
PAMP Activity of Cerato-Platanin during Plant Interaction: An -Omic Approach
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 866; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060866 - 02 Jun 2016
Cited by 15
Abstract
Cerato-platanin (CP) is the founder of a fungal protein family consisting in non-catalytic secreted proteins, which work as virulence factors and/or as elicitors of defense responses and systemic resistance, thus acting as PAMPs (pathogen-associated molecular patterns). Moreover, CP has been defined an expansin-like [...] Read more.
Cerato-platanin (CP) is the founder of a fungal protein family consisting in non-catalytic secreted proteins, which work as virulence factors and/or as elicitors of defense responses and systemic resistance, thus acting as PAMPs (pathogen-associated molecular patterns). Moreover, CP has been defined an expansin-like protein showing the ability to weaken cellulose aggregates, like the canonical plant expansins do. Here, we deepen the knowledge on CP PAMP activity by the use of a multi-disciplinary approach: proteomic analysis, VOC (volatile organic compound) measurements, and gas exchange determination. The treatment of Arabidopsis with CP induces a differential profile either in protein expression or in VOC emission, as well changes in photosynthetic activity. In agreement with its role of defense activator, CP treatment induces down-expression of enzymes related to primary metabolism, such as RuBisCO, triosephosphate isomerase, and ATP-synthase, and reduces the photosynthesis rate. Conversely, CP increases expression of defense-related proteins and emission of some VOCs. Interestingly, CP exposure triggered the increase in enzymes involved in GSH metabolism and redox homeostasis (glutathione S-transferase, thioredoxin, Cys-peroxiredoxin, catalase) and in enzymes related to the “glucosinolate-myrosinase” system, which are the premise for synthesis of defence compounds, such as camalexin and some VOCs, respectively. The presented results are in agreement with the accepted role of CP as a PAMP and greatly increase the knowledge of plant primary defences induced by a purified fungal elicitor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Innate Immunity)
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Open AccessArticle
The Transcription Factor OsWRKY45 Negatively Modulates the Resistance of Rice to the Brown Planthopper Nilaparvata lugens
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060697 - 31 May 2016
Cited by 16
Abstract
WRKY transcription factors play a central role not only in plant growth and development but also in plant stress responses. However, the role of WRKY transcription factors in herbivore-induced plant defenses and their underlying mechanisms, especially in rice, remains largely unclear. Here, we [...] Read more.
WRKY transcription factors play a central role not only in plant growth and development but also in plant stress responses. However, the role of WRKY transcription factors in herbivore-induced plant defenses and their underlying mechanisms, especially in rice, remains largely unclear. Here, we cloned a rice WRKY gene OsWRKY45, whose expression was induced by mechanical wounding, by infestation of the brown planthopper (BPH, Nilaparvata lugens) and by treatment with jasmonic acid (JA) or salicylic acid (SA). The antisense expression of OsWRKY45 (as-wrky) enhanced BPH-induced levels of H2O2 and ethylene, reduced feeding and oviposition preference as well as the survival rate of BPH, and delayed the development of BPH nymphs. Consistently, lower population densities of BPH on as-wrky lines, compared to those on wild-type (WT) plants, were observed in field experiments. On the other hand, as-wrky lines in the field had lower susceptibility to sheath blight (caused by Rhizoctonia solani) but higher susceptibility to rice blast (caused by Magnaporthe oryzae) than did WT plants. These findings suggest that OsWRKY45 plays important but contrasting roles in regulating the resistance of rice to pathogens and herbivores, and attention should be paid if OsWRKY45 is used to develop disease or herbivore-resistant rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Innate Immunity)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Stripe Rust Resistance Genes in the Wheat Cultivar Chuanmai45
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(4), 601; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17040601 - 21 Apr 2016
Cited by 8
Abstract
The objective of this research was to characterize the high level of resistance to stripe that has been observed in the released wheat cultivar, Chuanmai45. A combination of classic genetic analysis, molecular and cytogenetic methods were used to characterize resistance in an F [...] Read more.
The objective of this research was to characterize the high level of resistance to stripe that has been observed in the released wheat cultivar, Chuanmai45. A combination of classic genetic analysis, molecular and cytogenetic methods were used to characterize resistance in an F2 population derived from Chuanmai45 and the susceptible Chuanmai42. Inheritance of resistance was shown to be conferred by two genes in Chuanmai45. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was used along with segregation studies to show that one gene was located on a 1RS.1BL translocation. Molecular markers were employed to show that the other locus was located on chromosome 4B. The defeated gene, Yr24/26, on chromosome 1BL was present in the susceptible parent and lines that recombined this gene with the 1RS.1BL translocation were identified. The germplasm, loci, and associated markers identified in this study will be useful for application in breeding programs utilizing marker-assisted selection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Innate Immunity)
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Open AccessArticle
Expression Patterns of Genes Involved in Ascorbate-Glutathione Cycle in Aphid-Infested Maize (Zea mays L.) Seedlings
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17030268 - 23 Feb 2016
Cited by 11
Abstract
Reduced forms of ascorbate (AsA) and glutathione (GSH) are among the most important non-enzymatic foliar antioxidants in maize (Zea mays L.). The survey was aimed to evaluate impact of bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi L.) or grain aphid (Sitobion avenae [...] Read more.
Reduced forms of ascorbate (AsA) and glutathione (GSH) are among the most important non-enzymatic foliar antioxidants in maize (Zea mays L.). The survey was aimed to evaluate impact of bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi L.) or grain aphid (Sitobion avenae F.) herbivory on expression of genes related to ascorbate-glutathione (AsA-GSH) cycle in seedlings of six maize varieties (Ambrozja, Nana, Tasty Sweet, Touran, Waza, Złota Karłowa), differing in resistance to the cereal aphids. Relative expression of sixteen maize genes encoding isoenzymes of ascorbate peroxidase (APX1, APX2, APX3, APX4, APX5, APX6, APX7), monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR1, MDHAR2, MDHAR3, MDHAR4), dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR1, DHAR2, DHAR3) and glutathione reductase (GR1, GR2) was quantified. Furthermore, effect of hemipterans’ attack on activity of APX, MDHAR, DHAR and GR enzymes, and the content of reduced and oxidized ascorbate and glutathione in maize plants were assessed. Seedling leaves of more resistant Z. mays varieties responded higher elevations in abundance of target transcripts. In addition, earlier and stronger aphid-triggered changes in activity of APX, MDHAR, DHAR and GR enzymes, and greater modulations in amount of the analyzed antioxidative metabolites were detected in foliar tissues of highly resistant Ambrozja genotype in relation to susceptible Tasty Sweet plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Innate Immunity)
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Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Identification and Analysis of the VQ Motif-Containing Protein Family in Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. Pekinensis)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(12), 28683-28704; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161226127 - 02 Dec 2015
Cited by 18
Abstract
Previous studies have showed that the VQ motif–containing proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa play an important role in plant growth, development, and stress responses. However, little is known about the functions of the VQ genes in Brassica rapa (Chinese cabbage). In [...] Read more.
Previous studies have showed that the VQ motif–containing proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa play an important role in plant growth, development, and stress responses. However, little is known about the functions of the VQ genes in Brassica rapa (Chinese cabbage). In this study, we performed genome-wide identification, characterization, and expression analysis of the VQ genes in Chinese cabbage, especially under adverse environment. We identified 57 VQ genes and classified them into seven subgroups (I–VII), which were dispersedly distributed on chromosomes 1 to 10. The expansion of these genes mainly contributed to segmental and tandem duplication. Fifty-four VQ genes contained no introns and 50 VQ proteins were less than 300 amino acids in length. Quantitative real-time PCR showed that the VQ genes were differentially expressed in various tissues and during different abiotic stresses and plant hormone treatments. This study provides a comprehensive overview of Chinese cabbage VQ genes and will benefit the molecular breeding for resistance to stresses and disease, as well as further studies on the biological functions of the VQ proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Innate Immunity)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Plant Resistance Inducers against Pathogens in Solanaceae Species—From Molecular Mechanisms to Field Application
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1673; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17101673 - 02 Oct 2016
Cited by 13
Abstract
This review provides a current summary of plant resistance inducers (PRIs) that have been successfully used in the Solanaceae plant family to protect against pathogens by activating the plant’s own defence. Solanaceous species include many important crops such as potato and tomato. We [...] Read more.
This review provides a current summary of plant resistance inducers (PRIs) that have been successfully used in the Solanaceae plant family to protect against pathogens by activating the plant’s own defence. Solanaceous species include many important crops such as potato and tomato. We also present findings regarding the molecular processes after application of PRIs, even if the number of such studies still remains limited in this plant family. In general, there is a lack of patterns regarding the efficiency of induced resistance (IR) both between and within solanaceous species. In many cases, a hypersensitivity-like reaction needs to form in order for the PRI to be efficient. “-Omics” studies have already given insight in the complexity of responses, and can explain some of the differences seen in efficacy of PRIs between and within species as well as towards different pathogens. Finally, examples of field applications of PRIs for solanaceous crops are presented and discussed. We predict that PRIs will play a role in future plant protection strategies in Solanaceae crops if they are combined with other means of disease control in different spatial and temporal combinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Innate Immunity)
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Open AccessReview
The Fundamental Role of NOX Family Proteins in Plant Immunity and Their Regulation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060805 - 27 May 2016
Cited by 10
Abstract
NADPH oxidases (NOXs), also known as respiratory burst oxidase homologs (RBOHs), are the major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and are involved in many important processes in plants such as regulation of acclimatory signaling and programmed cell death (PCD). Increasing evidence shows [...] Read more.
NADPH oxidases (NOXs), also known as respiratory burst oxidase homologs (RBOHs), are the major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and are involved in many important processes in plants such as regulation of acclimatory signaling and programmed cell death (PCD). Increasing evidence shows that NOXs play crucial roles in plant immunity and their functions in plant immune responses are not as separate individuals but with other signal molecules such as kinases, Rac/Rop small GTPases and hormones, mediating a series of signal transmissions. In a similar way, NOX-mediated signaling also participates in abiotic stress response of plants. We summarized here the complex role and regulation mechanism of NOXs in mediating plant immune response, and the viewpoint that abiotic stress response of plants may be a kind of special plant immunity is also proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Innate Immunity)
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Open AccessReview
Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Signaling in Plant Immunity—At the Crossroad of Life and Death
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(11), 26582-26598; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161125964 - 05 Nov 2015
Cited by 20
Abstract
Rapid and complex immune responses are induced in plants upon pathogen recognition. One form of plant defense response is a programmed burst in transcription and translation of pathogenesis-related proteins, of which many rely on ER processing. Interestingly, several ER stress marker genes are [...] Read more.
Rapid and complex immune responses are induced in plants upon pathogen recognition. One form of plant defense response is a programmed burst in transcription and translation of pathogenesis-related proteins, of which many rely on ER processing. Interestingly, several ER stress marker genes are up-regulated during early stages of immune responses, suggesting that enhanced ER capacity is needed for immunity. Eukaryotic cells respond to ER stress through conserved signaling networks initiated by specific ER stress sensors tethered to the ER membrane. Depending on the nature of ER stress the cell prioritizes either survival or initiates programmed cell death (PCD). At present two plant ER stress sensors, bZIP28 and IRE1, have been described. Both sensor proteins are involved in ER stress-induced signaling, but only IRE1 has been additionally linked to immunity. A second branch of immune responses relies on PCD. In mammals, ER stress sensors are involved in activation of PCD, but it is unclear if plant ER stress sensors play a role in PCD. Nevertheless, some ER resident proteins have been linked to pathogen-induced cell death in plants. In this review, we will discuss the current understanding of plant ER stress signaling and its cross-talk with immune signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Innate Immunity)
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