A Pivotal Role of Reactive Oxygen Species in Non-Host Resistance Mechanisms in Legume and Cereal Plants to the Incompatible Pathogens
Most of plants under normal conditions are resistant to most of the incompatible pathogens (viral, fungal and bacterial infections). This is called ״non-host resistance (NHR) phenomenon״. Till now it is not clear the non-host resistance mechanisms. As a result of inoculation of legume (pea and soybean) and cereal (barley and wheat) plants with compatible and incompatible pathogens, strong resistance symptoms were observed in the non-host/incompatible pathogen combinations as compared with host/compatible pathogen combinations which showed severe infection (susceptibility). Levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) mainly hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and superoxide (O2.-) were significantly increased early 6, 12, 24 and 36 hours after inoculation (hai) in the non-host plants as compared with host plants. Interestingly enough that the activities of the antioxidant enzymes such as catalase (CAT), dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) and peroxidase (POX) were not significantly increased at the same early time 6 - 36 hai in the non-host plants. However, these enzymes were significantly increased later on 48, 72 and 96 dai in the non-host plants as compared with host plants. It seems that early accumulation of H2O2 and O2.- could have a dual roles, first role is inhibiting or killing the pathogens early in the non-host plants, second immunization of the non-host plants by stimulating the activities of the antioxidant enzymes later on which thereby, neutralize the harmful effect of ROS and consequently suppressing disease symptoms. The author recommends giving more attention to these new mechanisms of non-host resistance particularly in relation to ROS levels and antioxidant activities which are very important for plant breeders and useful for finding alternative control strategies as well.
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