Infection of Arabidopsis with a necrotrophic pathogen, Botrytis cinerea, elicits various defense responses but does not induce systemic acquired resistance (SAR)

Plant Mol Biol. 2002 Feb 1;48(3):267-76. doi: 10.1023/a:1013323222095.


Botrytis cinerea is a non-specific necrotrophic pathogen that attacks more than 200 plant species. In contrast to biotrophs, the necrotrophs obtain their nutrients by first killing the host cells. Many studies have shown that infection of plants by necrosis-causing pathogens induces a systemic acquired resistance (SAR), which provides protection against successive infections by a range of pathogenic organisms. We analyzed the role of SAR in B. cinerea infection of Arabidopsis. We show that although B. cinerea induced necrotic lesions and camalexin biosynthesis, it did not induce SAR-mediated protection against virulent strains of Pseudomonas syringae, or against subsequent B. cinerea infections. Induction of SAR with avirulent P. syringae or by chemical treatment with salicylic acid (SA) or benzothiadiazole also failed to inhibit B. cinerea growth, although removal of basal SA accumulation by expression of a bacterial salicylate hydroxylase (NahG) gene or by infiltration of 2-aminoindan-2-phosphonic acid, an inhibitor of phenylpropanoid pathway, increased B. cinerea disease symptoms. In addition, we show that B. cinerea induced expression of genes associated with SAR, general stress and ethylene/jasmonate-mediated defense pathways. Thus, B. cinerea does not induce SAR nor is it affected by SAR, making it a rare example of a necrogenic pathogen that does not cause SAR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / microbiology
  • Botrytis / drug effects
  • Botrytis / growth & development*
  • Cyclopentanes / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Indoles / metabolism
  • Oxylipins
  • Plant Diseases / genetics*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Plant Leaves / drug effects
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / microbiology
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / growth & development
  • Salicylic Acid / metabolism
  • Salicylic Acid / pharmacology
  • Thiazoles / metabolism


  • Cyclopentanes
  • Indoles
  • Oxylipins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Thiazoles
  • camalexin
  • pathogenesis-related proteins, plant
  • jasmonic acid
  • Salicylic Acid