Integrating nitric oxide into salicylic acid and jasmonic acid/ ethylene plant defense pathways

Luis A J Mur, Elena Prats, Sandra Pierre, Michael Hall, Kim H Hebelstrup

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156 Citations (Scopus)


Plant defense against pests and pathogens is known to be conferred by either salicylic acid (SA) or jasmonic acid (JA)/ethylene (ET) pathways, depending on infection or herbivore-grazing strategy. It is well attested that SA and JA/ET pathways are mutually antagonistic allowing defense responses to be tailored to particular biotic stresses. Nitric oxide (NO) has emerged as a major signal influencing resistance mediated by both signaling pathways but no attempt has been made to integrate NO into established SA/JA/ET interactions. NO has been shown to act as an inducer or suppressor of signaling along each pathway. NO will initiate SA biosynthesis and nitrosylate key cysteines on TGA-class transcription factors to aid in the initiation of SA-dependent gene expression. Against this, S-nitrosylation of NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED PROTEINS1 (NPR1) will promote the NPR1 oligomerization within the cytoplasm to reduce TGA activation. In JA biosynthesis, NO will initiate the expression of JA biosynthetic enzymes, presumably to over-come any antagonistic effects of SA on JA-mediated transcription. NO will also initiate the expression of ET biosynthetic genes but a suppressive role is also observed in the S-nitrosylation and inhibition of S-adenosylmethionine transferases which provides methyl groups for ET production. Based on these data a model for NO action is proposed but we have also highlighted the need to understand when and how inductive and suppressive steps are used.
Original languageEnglish
Article number215
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Early online date27 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • nitric oxide
  • salicylic acid
  • jasmonic acid
  • ethylenes
  • pathogens
  • resistance mechanisms
  • signaling pathways


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