Organ-specific regulation of growth-defense tradeoffs by plants

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2016 Feb;29:129-37. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2015.12.005. Epub 2016 Jan 21.


Plants grow while also defending themselves against phylogenetically unrelated pathogens. Because defense and growth are both costly programs, a plant's success in colonizing resource-scarce environments requires tradeoffs between the two. Here, we summarize efforts aimed at understanding how plants use iterative tradeoffs to modulate differential organ growth when defenses are elicited. First, we focus on shoots to illustrate how light, in conjunction with the growth hormone gibberellin (GA) and the defense hormone jasmonic acid (JA), act to finely regulate defense and growth programs in this organ. Second, we expand on the regulation of growth-defense trade-offs in the root, a less well-studied topic despite the critical role of this organ in acquiring resources in an environment deeply entrenched with disparate populations of microbes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cyclopentanes / metabolism
  • Gibberellins / metabolism
  • Light*
  • Oxylipins / metabolism
  • Plant Development*
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism*
  • Plant Roots / growth & development*
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Plant Shoots / growth & development*
  • Plant Shoots / metabolism


  • Cyclopentanes
  • Gibberellins
  • Oxylipins
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • jasmonic acid