Peptides and small molecules of the plant-pathogen apoplastic arena

Front Plant Sci. 2014 Nov 28;5:677. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00677. eCollection 2014.


Plants reside within an environment rich in potential pathogens. Survival in the presence of such threats requires both effective perception of, and appropriate responses to, pathogenic attack. While plants lack an adaptive immune system, they have a highly developed and responsive innate immune system able to detect and inhibit the growth of the vast majority of potential pathogens. Many of the critical interactions that characterize the relationship between plants and pathogens are played out in the intercellular apoplastic space. The initial perception of pathogen invasion is often achieved through specific plant receptor-like kinases that recognize conserved molecular patterns presented by the pathogen or respond to the molecular debris caused by cellular damage. The perception of either microbial or damage signals by these receptors initiates a response that includes the production of peptides and small molecules to enhance cellular integrity and inhibit pathogen growth. In this review, we discuss the roles of apoplastic peptides and small molecules in modulating plant-pathogen interactions.

Keywords: MAMP; PRR; apoplastic immunity; host-pathogen interactions; innate immunity; small molecules.

Publication types

  • Review