Special Issue "Immune Mechanisms in Plants"

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marcello Iriti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Milan State University, Milan, Italy
Interests: environmental pollution; agrochemicals; mycotoxins; biomonitoring
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In their environment, plants have to cope with a plethora of biotic stresses, including pathogens, pests and weeds; in addition, these sessile organisms are not able to escape from an hostile environment. Therefore, plants have evolved a complex defence system consisting of a network of constitutive or inducible physical and chemical barriers. In these terms, plants are able to discriminate between self and nonself as well as to recognize different types of elicitors (exogenous and endogenous non specific or general elicitors, and specific or race-specific elicitors) by pattern recognition receptors or R (resistance) gene products. Noteworthy, triggering the plants’ own defense mechanisms by selected agrochemicals (i.e. plant activators) represents an innovative and environmentally-friendly strategy to reduce the barden of conventional agrochemicals in crop protection.

Prof. Marcello Iriti
Dr. Sara Vitalini
Guest Editors

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. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). 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

  • plant innate immunity
  • host resistance
  • non-host resistance
  • gene-for-gene interaction
  • systemic acquired resistance (SAR)
  • pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)
  • microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP)
  • damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP)
  • pathogen recognition receptors (PPP)
  • avirulence (AVR) genes
  • resistance (R) genes
  • chemical elicitors
  • plant activators
  • phytoalexins
  • pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Plant Immunity and Crop Yield: A Sustainable Approach in Agri-Food Systems
Vaccines 2021, 9(2), 121; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vaccines9020121 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 590
Abstract
Innate immunity represents a trait common to animals and plants. Indeed, similar to animals, plants also evolved a complex defense machinery to defend against pest and pathogen attacks. Due to the concerns posed by the intensive use of agrochemicals, the possibility to stimulate [...] Read more.
Innate immunity represents a trait common to animals and plants. Indeed, similar to animals, plants also evolved a complex defense machinery to defend against pest and pathogen attacks. Due to the concerns posed by the intensive use of agrochemicals, the possibility to stimulate the plant immune system with environmentally friendly and low-risk chemical and biological inducers is intriguing. Therefore, some plant protection products are commercially available to trigger the plant’s immune system, with benefits in terms of consumer health and environmental protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Mechanisms in Plants)

Research

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Article
Multiple Genome Wide Association Mapping Models Identify Quantitative Trait Nucleotides for Brown Planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens) Resistance in MAGIC Indica Population of Rice
Vaccines 2020, 8(4), 608; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vaccines8040608 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 867
Abstract
Brown planthopper (BPH), one of the most important pests of the rice (Oryza sativa) crop, becomes catastrophic under severe infestations and causes up to 60% yield loss. The highly disastrous BPH biotype in the Indian sub-continent is Biotype 4, which also [...] Read more.
Brown planthopper (BPH), one of the most important pests of the rice (Oryza sativa) crop, becomes catastrophic under severe infestations and causes up to 60% yield loss. The highly disastrous BPH biotype in the Indian sub-continent is Biotype 4, which also known as the South Asian Biotype. Though many resistance genes were mapped until now, the utility of the resistance genes in the breeding programs is limited due to the breakdown of resistance and emergence of new biotypes. Hence, to identify the resistance genes for this economically important pest, we have used a multi-parent advanced generation intercross (MAGIC) panel consisting of 391 lines developed from eight indica founder parents. The panel was phenotyped at the controlled conditions for two consecutive years. A set of 27,041 cured polymorphic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) and across-year phenotypic data were used for the identification of marker–trait associations. Genome-wide association analysis was performed to find out consistent associations by employing four single and two multi-locus models. Sixty-one SNPs were consistently detected by all six models. A set of 190 significant marker-associations identified by fixed and random model circulating probability unification (FarmCPU) were considered for searching resistance candidate genes. The highest number of annotated genes were found in chromosome 6 followed by 5 and 1. Ninety-two annotated genes identified across chromosomes of which 13 genes are associated BPH resistance including NB-ARC (nucleotide binding in APAF-1, R gene products, and CED-4) domain-containing protein, NHL repeat-containing protein, LRR containing protein, and WRKY70. The significant SNPs and resistant lines identified from our study could be used for an accelerated breeding program to develop new BPH resistant cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Mechanisms in Plants)
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Article
Seaweed-Based Products and Mushroom β-Glucan as Tomato Plant Immunological Inducers
Vaccines 2020, 8(3), 524; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vaccines8030524 - 13 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1521
Abstract
The effects of the abiotic inducers β-glucan, extracted from Shiitake (Lentinula edodes), BFIICaB® (Kappaphycus alvarezii) and BKPSGII® (K. alvarezii X Sargassum sp.) on tomato plants infected with Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (FOL) were evaluated through [...] Read more.
The effects of the abiotic inducers β-glucan, extracted from Shiitake (Lentinula edodes), BFIICaB® (Kappaphycus alvarezii) and BKPSGII® (K. alvarezii X Sargassum sp.) on tomato plants infected with Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (FOL) were evaluated through the activity of enzymes related to the induction of resistance at 5 and 10 days after inoculation (DAI). Tomato plants (21 days old, after germination) were inoculated with the pathogen conidia suspension and sprayed with 0.3% aqueous solutions of the inducers. The activities of the enzymes β-1,3-glucanase, peroxidase and phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) were evaluated in fresh tomato leaves collected at 5 and 10 DAI. In all treatments, peroxidase showed the highest enzymatic activity, followed by β-1,3-glucanase and PAL. Between the seaweeds, the inducers extracted from the red alga Kappaphycus alvarezii (BFIICaB®) promoted the highest enzymatic activity. The exception was BKPSGII® (K. alvarezii X Sargassum sp.) where the influence of Sargassum sp. resulted in higher peroxidase activity (4.48 Δab600 mg P−1 min−1) in the leaves, 10 DAI. Both the red seaweed K. alvarezii and the brown alga Sargassum sp. promoted activities of β-1,3-glucanase, peroxidase and PAL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Mechanisms in Plants)
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Article
Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas fluorescens Trigger Common and Distinct Systemic Immune Responses in Arabidopsis thaliana Depending on the Pathogen Lifestyle
Vaccines 2020, 8(3), 503; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vaccines8030503 - 04 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1114
Abstract
Plants harbor various beneficial bacteria that modulate their innate immunity, resulting in induced systemic resistance (ISR) against various pathogens. However, the immune mechanisms underlying ISR triggered by Bacillus spp. and Pseudomonas spp. against pathogens with different lifestyles are not yet clearly elucidated. Here, [...] Read more.
Plants harbor various beneficial bacteria that modulate their innate immunity, resulting in induced systemic resistance (ISR) against various pathogens. However, the immune mechanisms underlying ISR triggered by Bacillus spp. and Pseudomonas spp. against pathogens with different lifestyles are not yet clearly elucidated. Here, we show that root drenching of Arabidopsis plants with Pseudomonas fluorescensPTA-CT2 and Bacillus subtilis PTA-271 can induce ISR against the necrotrophic fungus B. cinerea and the hemibiotrophic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae Pst DC3000. In the absence of pathogen infection, both beneficial bacteria do not induce any consistent change in systemic immune responses. However, ISR relies on priming faster and robust expression of marker genes for the salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and ethylene (ET) signaling pathways upon pathogen challenge. These responses are also associated with increased levels of SA, JA, and abscisic acid (ABA) in the leaves of bacterized plants after infection. The functional study also points at priming of the JA/ET and NPR1-dependent defenses as prioritized immune pathways in ISR induced by both beneficial bacteria against B. cinerea. However, B. subtilis-triggered ISR against Pst DC3000 is dependent on SA, JA/ET, and NPR1 pathways, whereas P. fluorescens-induced ISR requires JA/ET and NPR1 signaling pathways. The use of ABA-insensitive mutants also pointed out the crucial role of ABA signaling, but not ABA concentration, along with JA/ET signaling in primed systemic immunity by beneficial bacteria against Pst DC3000, but not against B. cinerea. These results clearly indicate that ISR is linked to priming plants for enhanced common and distinct immune pathways depending on the beneficial strain and the pathogen lifestyle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Mechanisms in Plants)
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Article
Overexpression of VviPGIP1 and NtCAD14 in Tobacco Screened Using Glycan Microarrays Reveals Cell Wall Reorganisation in the Absence of Fungal Infection
Vaccines 2020, 8(3), 388; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vaccines8030388 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 890
Abstract
The expression of Vitis vinifera polygalacturonase inhibiting protein 1 (VviPGIP1) in Nicotiana tabacum has been linked to modifications at the cell wall level. Previous investigations have shown an upregulation of the lignin biosynthesis pathway and reorganisation of arabinoxyloglucan composition. This suggests cell wall [...] Read more.
The expression of Vitis vinifera polygalacturonase inhibiting protein 1 (VviPGIP1) in Nicotiana tabacum has been linked to modifications at the cell wall level. Previous investigations have shown an upregulation of the lignin biosynthesis pathway and reorganisation of arabinoxyloglucan composition. This suggests cell wall tightening occurs, which may be linked to defence priming responses. The present study used a screening approach to test four VviPGIP1 and four NtCAD14 overexpressing transgenic lines for cell wall alterations. Overexpressing the tobacco-derived cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (NtCAD14) gene is known to increase lignin biosynthesis and deposition. These lines, particularly PGIP1 expressing plants, have been shown to lead to a decrease in susceptibility towards grey rot fungus Botrytis cinerea. In this study the aim was to investigate the cell wall modulations that occurred prior to infection, which should highlight potential priming phenomena and phenotypes. Leaf lignin composition and relative concentration of constituent monolignols were evaluated using pyrolysis gas chromatography. Significant concentrations of lignin were deposited in the stems but not the leaves of NtCAD14 overexpressing plants. Furthermore, no significant changes in monolignol composition were found between transgenic and wild type plants. The polysaccharide modifications were quantified using gas chromatography (GC–MS) of constituent monosaccharides. The major leaf polysaccharide and cell wall protein components were evaluated using comprehensive microarray polymer profiling (CoMPP). The most significant changes appeared at the polysaccharide and protein level. The pectin fraction of the transgenic lines had subtle variations in patterning for methylesterification epitopes for both VviPGIP1 and NtCAD14 transgenic lines versus wild type. Pectin esterification levels have been linked to pathogen defence in the past. The most marked changes occurred in glycoprotein abundance for both the VviPGIP1 and NtCAD14 lines. Epitopes for arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) and extensins were notably altered in transgenic NtCAD14 tobacco. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Mechanisms in Plants)
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Article
Mutations at the Serine Hydroxymethyltransferase Impact Its Interaction with a Soluble NSF Attachment Protein and a Pathogenesis-Related Protein in Soybean
Vaccines 2020, 8(3), 349; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vaccines8030349 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 885
Abstract
Resistance to soybean cyst nematodes (SCN) in “Peking-type” resistance is bigenic, requiring Rhg4-a and rhg1-a. Rhg4-a encodes a serine hydroxymethyltransferase (GmSHMT08) and rhg1-a encodes a soluble NSF attachment protein (GmSNAP18). Recently, it has been shown that a pathogenesis-related protein, GmPR08-Bet VI, potentiates [...] Read more.
Resistance to soybean cyst nematodes (SCN) in “Peking-type” resistance is bigenic, requiring Rhg4-a and rhg1-a. Rhg4-a encodes a serine hydroxymethyltransferase (GmSHMT08) and rhg1-a encodes a soluble NSF attachment protein (GmSNAP18). Recently, it has been shown that a pathogenesis-related protein, GmPR08-Bet VI, potentiates the interaction between GmSHMT08 and GmSNAP18. Mutational analysis using spontaneously occurring and ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS)-induced mutations was carried out to increase our knowledge of the interacting GmSHMT08/GmSNAP18/GmPR08-Bet VI multi-protein complex. Mutations affecting the GmSHMT08 protein structure (dimerization and tetramerization) and interaction sites with GmSNAP18 and GmPR08-Bet VI proteins were found to impact the multi-protein complex. Interestingly, mutations affecting the PLP/THF substrate binding and catalysis did not affect the multi-protein complex, although they resulted in increased susceptibility to SCN. Most importantly, GmSHMT08 and GmSNAP18 from PI88788 were shown to interact within the cell, being potentiated in the presence of GmPR08-Bet VI. In addition, we have shown the presence of incompatibility between the GmSNAP18 (rhg1-b) of PI88788 and GmSHMT08 (Rhg4-a) from Peking. Components of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) pathway were shown to be induced in the SCN incompatible reaction and were mapped to QTLs for resistance to SCN using different mapping populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Mechanisms in Plants)
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Review

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Review
Cognitive and Memory Functions in Plant Immunity
Vaccines 2020, 8(3), 541; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vaccines8030541 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 831
Abstract
From the time of Thucydides in the 5th century BC, it has been known that specific recognition of pathogens and memory formation are critical components of immune functions. In contrast to the immune system of jawed vertebrates, such as humans and mice, plants [...] Read more.
From the time of Thucydides in the 5th century BC, it has been known that specific recognition of pathogens and memory formation are critical components of immune functions. In contrast to the immune system of jawed vertebrates, such as humans and mice, plants lack a circulatory system with mobile immune cells and a repertoire of clonally distributed antigen receptors with almost unlimited specificities. However, without these systems and mechanisms, plants can live and survive in the same hostile environment faced by other organisms. In fact, they achieve specific pathogen recognition and elimination, with limited self-reactivity, and generate immunological memory, sometimes with transgenerational characteristics. Thus, the plant immune system satisfies minimal conditions for constituting an immune system, namely, the recognition of signals in the milieu, integration of that information, subsequent efficient reaction based on the integrated information, and memorization of the experience. In the previous report, this set of elements was proposed as an example of minimal cognitive functions. In this essay, I will first review current understanding of plant immunity and then discuss the unique features of cognitive activities, including recognition of signals from external as well as internal environments, autoimmunity, and memory formation. In doing so, I hope to reach a deeper understanding of the significance of immunity omnipresent in the realm of living organisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Mechanisms in Plants)

Other

Commentary
Sustainable Crop Protection, Global Climate Change, Food Security and Safety—Plant Immunity at the Crossroads
Vaccines 2020, 8(1), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vaccines8010042 - 24 Jan 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1430
Abstract
The development of novel strategies of plant disease management is crucial in view of the growing demand of sustainability in agri-food chains. The use of agrochemicals is not without risk for the consumer and environment in terms of their residues in food, feed, [...] Read more.
The development of novel strategies of plant disease management is crucial in view of the growing demand of sustainability in agri-food chains. The use of agrochemicals is not without risk for the consumer and environment in terms of their residues in food, feed, water bodies and harmful effects on nontarget organisms. However, because of the high global annual yield losses attributable to plant diseases and also due to global climate changes that have exacerbated some phytosanitary emergences, chemical input in agriculture is mandatory. In this complex scenario, the use of agrochemicals that boost the plant immune system represents a relatively novel approach in crop protection. These plant protection products are not antimicrobial or fungicidal agents, but include both natural and synthetic elicitors and plant activators that only target the host immune system, with no biocide mechanism of action. In general, these products present a number of strengths: they leave no residue and should not select resistant pathogen strains, they can be used to control virus diseases, and can increase the levels of bioactive phytochemicals in plant foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Mechanisms in Plants)
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