Priming: getting ready for battle

Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2006 Oct;19(10):1062-71. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-19-1062.


Infection of plants by necrotizing pathogens or colonization of plant roots with certain beneficial microbes causes the induction of a unique physiological state called "priming." The primed state can also be induced by treatment of plants with various natural and synthetic compounds. Primed plants display either faster, stronger, or both activation of the various cellular defense responses that are induced following attack by either pathogens or insects or in response to abiotic stress. Although the phenomenon has been known for decades, most progress in our understanding of priming has been made over the past few years. Here, we summarize the current knowledge of priming in various induced-resistance phenomena in plants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aminobutyrates / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Ethylenes / pharmacology
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology
  • Insecta / physiology
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*
  • Plants / drug effects
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Plants / microbiology*
  • Salicylic Acid / pharmacology
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Aminobutyrates
  • Ethylenes
  • 3-aminobutyric acid
  • ethylene
  • Salicylic Acid