European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 121, Issue 3, pp 233–242 | Cite as

Priming: it’s all the world to induced disease resistance

  • Katharina Goellner
  • Uwe Conrath


After infection by a necrotising pathogen, colonisation of the roots with certain beneficial microbes, or after treatment with various chemicals, many plants establish a unique physiological situation that is called the ‘primed’ state of the plant. In the primed condition, plants are able to ‘recall’ the previous infection, root colonisation or chemical treatment. As a consequence, primed plants respond more rapidly and/or effectively when re-exposed to biotic or abiotic stress, a feature that is frequently associated with enhanced disease resistance. Though priming has been known as a component of induced resistance for a long time, most progress in the understanding of the phenomenon has been made over the past few years. Here we summarize the current knowledge of priming and its relevance for plant protection in the field.


Benzothiadiazole 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid Potentiation of defence responses Salicylic acid Sensitisation Stress resistance 



β-aminobutyric acid


induced resistance


induced systemic resistance


microbe-associated molecular pattern


salicylic acid


systemic acquired resistance



Research on priming in the Plant Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Group is supported by BASF, BASF Plant Science, Bayer CropScience, the German Science Foundation (DFG) and the Peter and Traudl Engelhorn Foundation.


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© KNPV 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Group, Department of Plant PhysiologyRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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