Reactive oxygen intermediates mediate a systemic signal network in the establishment of plant immunity

Cell. 1998 Mar 20;92(6):773-84. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81405-1.


Recognition of an avirulent pathogen stimulates an oxidative burst generating O2- and H2O2, and these reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs) cue the induction of defense genes and cell death in the development of a restricted lesion. This localized hypersensitive response (HR) is accompanied by the development of systemic acquired resistance to virulent pathogens. Here we show that inoculation of Arabidopsis leaves with avirulent Pseudomonas syringae induces secondary oxidative bursts in discrete cells in distant tissues, leading to low-frequency systemic micro-HRs. The primary oxidative burst induces these systemic responses, and both the primary burst and the secondary microbursts are required for systemic immunity. Hence, ROIs mediate a reiterative signal network underlying systemic as well as local resistance responses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / enzymology*
  • Arabidopsis / immunology*
  • Arabidopsis / microbiology
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Cell Respiration / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Genes, Plant / immunology
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Plant Leaves / cytology
  • Plant Leaves / enzymology
  • Plant Leaves / immunology
  • Pseudomonas
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Glutathione Transferase