How do plants defend themselves against pathogens-Biochemical mechanisms and genetic interventions

Simardeep Kaur, Mahesh Kumar Samota, Manoj Choudhary, Mukesh Choudhary, Abhay K. Pandey, Anshu Sharma, Julie Thakur

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


In agro-ecosystem, plant pathogens hamper food quality, crop yield, and global food security. Manipulation of naturally occurring defense mechanisms in host plants is an effective and sustainable approach for plant disease management. Various natural compounds, ranging from cell wall components to metabolic enzymes have been reported to protect plants from infection by pathogens and hence provide specific resistance to hosts against pathogens, termed as induced resistance. It involves various biochemical components, that play an important role in molecular and cellular signaling events occurring either before (elicitation) or after pathogen infection. The induction of reactive oxygen species, activation of defensive machinery of plants comprising of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidative components, secondary metabolites, pathogenesis-related protein expression (e.g. chitinases and glucanases), phytoalexin production, modification in cell wall composition, melatonin production, carotenoids accumulation, and altered activity of polyamines are major induced changes in host plants during pathogen infection. Hence, the altered concentration of biochemical components in host plants restricts disease development. Such biochemical or metabolic markers can be harnessed for the development of “pathogen-proof” plants. Effective utilization of the key metabolites-based metabolic markers can pave the path for candidate gene identification. This present review discusses the valuable information for understanding the biochemical response mechanism of plants to cope with pathogens and genomics-metabolomics-based sustainable development of pathogen proof cultivars along with knowledge gaps and future perspectives to enhance sustainable agricultural production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-504
Number of pages20
JournalPhysiology and Molecular Biology of Plants
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


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