The oxidative burst protects plants against pathogen attack: mechanism and role as an emergency signal for plant bio-defence--a review

Gene. 1996 Nov 7;179(1):45-51. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1119(96)00423-4.


Various aspects, mechanisms and functions of the oxidative burst with generation of O2- superoxide anions in plant cells, which is stimulated by active defence-inducing agents such as fungal infection or elicitor treatment, were reviewed mainly on the basis of experimental evidence obtained in a system of Solanaceae plants and Phytophthora spp. The oxidative burst may be due to an O(2-)generating NADPH oxidase in the plasma membrane, which is activated with combinations of cytosolic proteins, Ca2+, calmodulin and protein kinase, following stimulation by elicitor molecules. The oxidative burst may play the role of an internal emergency signal for induction of the metabolic cascade for active defence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism
  • Phytophthora / pathogenicity*
  • Plant Diseases*
  • Respiratory Burst*
  • Solanum tuberosum / cytology
  • Solanum tuberosum / microbiology*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • elicitor protein, Phytophthora megasperma
  • NADPH Oxidases