Benzothiadiazole induces disease resistance in Arabidopsis by activation of the systemic acquired resistance signal transduction pathway

Plant J. 1996 Jul;10(1):71-82. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.1996.10010071.x.


Benzothiadiazole (BTH) is a novel chemical activator of disease resistance in tobacco, wheat and other important agricultural plants. In this report, it is shown that BTH works by activating SAR in Arabidopsis thaliana. BTH-treated plants were resistant to infection by turnip crinkle virus, Pseudomonas syringae pv 'tomato' DC3000 and Peronospora parasitica. Chemical treatment induced accumulation of mRNAs from the SAR-associated genes, PR-1, PR-2 and PR-5. BTH treatment induced both PR-1 mRNA accumulation and resistance against P. parasitica in the ethylene response mutants, etr1 and ein2, and in the methyl jasmonate-insensitive mutant, jar1, suggesting that BTH action is independent of these plant hormones. BTH treatment also induced both PR-1 mRNA accumulation and P. parasitica resistance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing the nahG gene, suggesting that BTH action does not require salicylic acid accumulation. However, because BTH-treatment failed to induce either PR-1 mRNA accumulation or P. parasitica resistance in the non-inducible immunity mutant, nim1, it appears that BTH activates the SAR signal transduction pathway.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / drug effects*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Genes, Plant / drug effects
  • Immunity / drug effects
  • Immunity / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Plant Diseases / genetics
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Plant Diseases / virology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Plant / genetics
  • RNA, Plant / metabolism
  • Salicylates / metabolism
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Thiadiazoles / pharmacology*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Plant
  • Salicylates
  • Thiadiazoles
  • benzo-1,2,3-thiadiazole
  • Salicylic Acid