Does chromatin remodeling mark systemic acquired resistance?

Trends Plant Sci. 2009 May;14(5):286-94. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2009.02.003.


The recognition of plant pathogens activates local defense responses and triggers a long-lasting systemic acquired resistance (SAR) response. Activation of SAR requires the hormone salicylic acid (SA), which induces SA-responsive gene expression. Recent data link changes in gene expression to chromatin remodeling, such as histone modifications and histone replacement. Here, we propose a model in which recruitment of chromatin-modifying complexes to SA-responsive loci controls their basal and SA-induced expression. Basal repression of these loci requires the post-translational modifier SUMO (SMALL UBIQUITIN-LIKE MODIFIER). This is of particular relevance because SUMO conjugation has been shown to control the activity, assembly and disassembly of chromatin-modifying complexes to transcription complexes. Chromatin remodeling could be instrumental for priming of SA-responsive loci to enable their enhanced reactivation upon subsequent pathogen attack.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / genetics
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • Salicylic Acid / pharmacology


  • Salicylic Acid