A Pivotal Role of Reactive Oxygen Species in Non-Host Resistance Mechanisms in Legume and Cereal Plants to the Incompatible Pathogens

Yaser M. Hafez


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.


Antioxidants; ROS; Non-host resistance; legumes; cereals


Abdelaal, K. A. A., Y. M. Hafez, M. Adel Samar, W. A. Youseef and M. M. Badr. 2014. Biochemical, histological and molecular changes in some Egyptian wheat varieties infected with stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis f.sp. tritici). Egyptian J. Biol.Pest Cont., 24 (2): 421-429.

Abdel-Monaim M. F., M. E. Ismail and K. M. Morsy. 2011. Induction of systematic resistance in soybean plants against Fusarium wilt disease by seed treatment with benzothiadiazole and humic acid. Not. Sci. Biol., 3(2):80-89.

Ádám A., T. Farkas, G. Somlyai, M. Hevesi and Z. Király. 1989. Consequence of O2.- generation during a bacterially induced hypersensitive reaction in tobacco: deterioration of membrane lipids. Physiol. Molec. Plant Pathol., 34: 13-26.

Aebi, H. 1984. Catalase in vitro. Methods Enzymol., 105: 121-126.

Asada, K. 1984. Chloroplast formation of reactive oxigen and its scavenging. In: Colowick SP, Kaplan NO (eds.): Methods Enzymol,.Vol. 105. Acad. Press, New York, Pp.422-429.

Carver, T. L. W., R. J. Zeyen, M. P. Robbins and G. A. Dearne. 1992. Effects of the PAL inhibitor, AOPP, on oat, barley and wheat cell responses to appropriate and inappropriate formae speciales of Erysiphe graminis DC. Physiol. Mol. Plant Pathol., 41: 397-409.

Chen, X., A. S. Marcelo, Y. Guiping, S. Jun and J. Dubcovsky. 2003. Development of Sequence Tagged Site and Cleaved Amplified Polymorphic Sequence Markers for Wheat Stripe Rust Resistance Gene Yr5. Crop Sci. 43: 2058-2064.

Dangl, J. L. and J. D. G. Jones. 2001. Plant pathogens and integrated defense responses to infection. Nature, 411:826-833.

El-Zahaby, H. M., G. Gullner and Z. Király. 1995. Effects of powdery mildew infection of barley on the ascorbate-glutathione cycle and other antioxidants in different host-pathogen interactions. Phytopathol., 85: 1225-1230.

Fabro, G., J. Steinbrenner, M. Coates, N. Ishaque, L. Baxter. 2011. Multiple candidate effectors from the oomycete pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis suppress host plant immunity. PLoS Pathog.7,e1002348. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002348.

Gechev, T., I. Gadjev, F. Van Breusegem, D. Inzé, S. Dukiandjiev, V. Toneva and I. Minkov. 2002. Hydrogen peroxide protects tobacco from oxidative stress by inducing a set of antioxidant enzymes. Cell Mol. Life Sci., 59:708-714.

Hafez, Y. M. and Z. Király. 2003. Role of hydrogen peroxide in symptom expression of barley susceptible and resistant to powdery mildew. Acta Phytopathol., Entomol., Hung., 38: 227-236.

Hafez, Y. M., J. Fodor and Z. Király. 2004. Establishment of systemic acquired resistance confers reduced levels of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide in TMV-infected tobacco leaves. Acta Phytopath. Entomol. Hung., 39: 347-359.

Hafez, Y. M. 2010. Control of Botrytis cinerea by the resistance riducers benzothiadiazole (BTH) and hydrogen peroxide on white pepper fruits under postharvest storage. Acta Phytopathol. Entomol. Hung., 45 (1): 13-29.

Hafez, Y. M., R. Bacsó, Z. Király, A. Künstler and L. Király .2012. Up-regulation of antioxidants in tobacco by low concentrations of H2O2 suppresses necrotic disease symptoms. Phytopathol., 102: 848-856.

Hafez, Y. M., R. Y. Mourad, M. Mansour and K. A. A. Abdelaal. 2014. Impact of non-traditional compounds and fungicides on physiological and biochemical characters of barely infected with Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei under field condtition. Egyptian J. Biol. Pest Cont., 24 (2): 445-453.

Hagborg, W. A. F. 1970. A device for injecting solutions and suspensions into thin leaves of plants. Can. J. Bot., 48: 1135-1136.

Harrach, B. D, J. Fodor, M. Pogány, J. Preuss and B. Barna. 2008. Antioxidant, ethylene and membrane leakage responses to powdery mildew infection of near-isogenic barley lines with various types of resistance. Eur. J. Plant Pathol., 121: 21-33.

Halliwell, B. and J. M. C. Gutteridge. 1999. Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine. Oxford University Press, Inc., New York.

Hammerschmidt, R., E. M. Nuckles and J. Kuć. 1982. Association of enhanced peroxidase activity with induced systemic resistance of cucumber to Colletotrichum lagenarium. Physiol. Plant Pathol., 20(1):73-82.

Heath, M. C. 2000. Nonhost resistance and nonspecific plant defenses. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol., 3: 315-319.

Horsfall, J. G. and E. B. Cowling. 1978. Pathometr: the measurement of plant disease. In: Horsfall, J.G. and E.B. Cowling, (Eds), Plant Disease: An Advanced Treatise. New York: Academic, Vol. II, pp. 120-136.

Hückelhoven, R., J. Fodor, C. Preis and K-H. Kogel. 1999. Hypersensitive cell death and papilla formation in barley attacked by the powdery mildew fungus are associated with H2O2 but not with salicylic acid accumulation. Plant Physiol., 119: 1251-1260.

Hückelhoven, R., C. Dechert and K-H. Kogel. 2001. Non-host resistance of barley is associated with a hydrogen peroxide burst at sites of attempted penetration by wheat powdery mildew fungus. Mol. Plant Pathol., 2: 199-205.

Kim, H. S., G. L. Hartman, J. B. Manandhar, G. L. Graef, J. R. Steadman and B. W. Dier. 2000. Reaction of soybean cultivars to Sclerotia stem rots in field, greenhouse and laboratory evaluations. Crop Sci., 40: 665-669.

Király, L., B. Barna. and Z. Király. 2007. Plant resistance to pathogen infection: Forms and mechanisms of innate and acquired resistance. J. Phytopathol., 155: 385-396.

Király, L., A. Künstler, R. Bacsó, Y. M. Hafez and Z. Király. 2013. Similarities and Differences in Plant and Animal Immune Systems –What is Inhibiting Pathogens? Acta Phytopathol. Entomol. Hung., 45 (1): 13-29.

Klapheck, S., I. Zimmer and H. Cosse. 1990. Scavenging of hydrogen peroxide in the endosperm of Ricinus communis by ascorbate peroxidase. Plant Cell Physiol., 31: 1005-1013.

Levine, A., R. Tenhaken, R. Dixon and C. Lamb. 1994. H2O2 from the oxidative burst orchestrates the plant hypersensitive disease resistance response. Cell 79:583-593.

Lipka, U., R. Fuchs, C. Kuhns, E. Petutschnig and V. Lipka. 2010. Live and let die-Arabidopsis nonhost resistance to powdery mildews. Eur. J. Cell Biol., 89:194-199.

O'Mahony, M. 1986. Sensory Evaluation of Food: Statistical Methods and Procedures. CRC Press, p. 487.

Schulze-Lefert, P. and R. Panstruga. 2003. Establishment of biotrophy by parasitic fungi and reprogramming of host cells for disease resistance. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol., 41: 641-67.

Schulze-Lefert, P. and S. Bieri. 2005. Recognition at a distance. Science , 308:506-508.

Thordal-Christensen, H. 2003. Fresh insights into processes of nonhost resistance. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol., 6: 351-357.

Trujillo, M., M. Tröger, R. E. Niks, K-H. Kogel and R. Hückelhoven. 2004. Mechanistic and genetic overlap of barley host and non-host resistance to Blumeria graminis. Mol. Plant Pathol., 5: 389-96.

Watt, B. K. and A. L. Merrill. 1963. Composition of foods. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, USDA .Hand Book. 8: 190.

Wu, G. S., B. J. Shortt, E. B. Lawrence, J. León, K. C. Fitzsimmons, E. B. Levine, I. Raskin and D. M. Shah. 1997. Activation of host defense mechanisms by elevated production of H2O2 in transgenic plants. Plant Physiol. 115:427-435.

Yulin, C., Z. Hongchang, Y. Juanni, W. Xiaojie, X. Jinrong, H. Qingmei, W. Guorong, H. Lili and K. Zhensheng. 2012. Characterization of non-host resistance in broad bean to the wheat stripe rust pathogen. BMC Plant Biology, 12:96 doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-96.

Full Text: PDF XPS

DOI: 10.33687/phytopath.004.01.1176


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 Yaser M. Hafez

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.