Induced systemic resistance -like responses elicited by rhizobia

  • María Laura Tonelli
  • María Soledad Figueredo
  • Johan Rodríguez
  • Adriana Fabra
  • Fernando IbañezEmail author
Review Article



Rhizobia are soil bacteria that engage into a mutualistic symbiosis with plants and benefit the host by fixing atmospheric N. In addition, rhizobia can be considered as biocontrol agents, contributing to plant health through direct inhibition of a wide range of pathogens. More recently, it became evident that rhizobial invasion of plant roots can also trigger an increased systemic resistance state in the host, a process resembling the Induced Systemic Resistance (ISR) mechanism. However, this indirect biocontrol property of rhizobia was relatively less explored.


In this review article, we present an overview of the current knowledge of ISR -like responses induced by rhizobia, considering general characteristics of this phenomenon, discussing the molecular pathways leading to this response and highlighting potential links between ISR -like responses and the nodulation signaling pathway.


A more detailed knowledge of these responses can result in development of biotechnological tools for sustainable crop production, through optimization of the systemic protective effect conferred by rhizobia.


Rhizobia Legumes Symbiosis Defense Induced systemic resistance Priming 



The authors would like to thank anonymous reviewers, whose comments and suggestions helped to significantly improve and clarify this manuscript.

Funding information

This study was financially supported by SECyT -UNRC, CONICET and ANPCyT. María Soledad Figueredo and Johan Rodríguez are recipients of scholarship from CONICET. María Laura Tonelli, Adriana Fabra and Fernando Ibáñez are members of the Research Career from CONICET.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones Agrobiotecnológicas, CONICETUniversidad Nacional de Río CuartoRío CuartoArgentina

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