Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892



Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

Which plant chemical defenses are general responses to attack, and which are specific to a particular pathogen?

Summary Introduction

To review:

The general and the specific chemical defenses of plants that are activated in response to a particular type of pathogen.


Unlike animals, the plants lack a proper immune system. However, they have evolved interesting mechanisms in order to combat the pathogenic attacks. Plants have the constitutive defense or barriers like bark, waxy coating, spines, hair, and chemicals that are produced in response to the pathogens. The bark and hair are similar to the animal skin. Secondary metabolites like alkaloids are produced in plants to kill the foreign bacterial cells.


In general response to a pathogen, mobilization of salicylic acid and jasmonates, hypersensitive responses, bioactive compounds, PR (pathogenesis proteins), and systemin take place inside the plant body. Salicylic acid is similar to aspirin and helps in wound healing of the plant. Jasmonates and systemin also play an important role in the plant healing processes. In another process, the plant cells surround the wounded site by the dead cells. The dead cells release reactive oxygen species that kills the surrounding pathogenic cells. In response to herbivory, plants produce alkaloid that is nonpalatable to certain animals.

The specific response of plants includes effector-triggered immunity and recognition of certain patterns present on the pathogens. The plants detect certain patterns on pathogens with the help of pattern recognition receptors present on their cell membranes...

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