Plant immunity in signal integration between biotic and abiotic stress responses

New Phytol. 2020 Jan;225(1):87-104. doi: 10.1111/nph.15989. Epub 2019 Jul 10.


Plants constantly monitor and cope with the fluctuating environment while hosting a diversity of plant-inhabiting microbes. The mode and outcome of plant-microbe interactions, including plant disease epidemics, are dynamically and profoundly influenced by abiotic factors, such as light, temperature, water and nutrients. Plants also utilize associations with beneficial microbes during adaptation to adverse conditions. Elucidation of the molecular bases for the plant-microbe-environment interactions is therefore of fundamental importance in the plant sciences. Following advances into individual stress signaling pathways, recent studies are beginning to reveal molecular intersections between biotic and abiotic stress responses and regulatory principles in combined stress responses. We outline mechanisms underlying environmental modulation of plant immunity and emerging roles for immune regulators in abiotic stress tolerance. Furthermore, we discuss how plants coordinate conflicting demands when exposed to combinations of different stresses, with attention to a possible determinant that links initial stress response to broad-spectrum stress tolerance or prioritization of specific stress tolerance.

Keywords: DAMPs; abiotic and biotic stress; plant immunity; plant-microbe-environment interactions; signal integration; stress adaptation; stress tolerance; tradeoff.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Plant Diseases / immunology*
  • Plant Immunity*
  • Plants / immunology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Stress, Physiological