Surviving in a Hostile World: Plant Strategies to Resist Pests and Diseases
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAnnual Review of Phytopathology. 2019, 57 505-529. 10.1146/annurev-phyto-082718-095959
As primary producers, plants are under constant pressure to defend themselves against potentially deadly pathogens and herbivores. In this review, we describe short- and long-term strategies that enable plants to cope with these stresses. Apart from internal immunological strategies that involve physiological and (epi)genetic modifications at the cellular level, plants also employ external strategies that rely on recruitment of beneficial organisms. We discuss these strategies along a gradient of increasing timescales, ranging from rapid immune responses that are initiated within seconds to (epi)genetic adaptations that occur over multiple plant generations. We cover the latest insights into the mechanistic and evolutionary underpinnings of these strategies and present explanatory models. Finally, we discuss how knowledge from short-lived model species can be translated to economically and ecologically important perennials to exploit adaptive plant strategies and mitigate future impacts of pests and diseases in an increasingly interconnected and changing world.