Although plants possess an arsenal of constitutive defences such as structural barriers and preformed antimicrobial defences, many attackers are able to overcome the pre-existing defence layers. In response, a range of inducible plant defences is set up to battle these pathogens. These mechanisms, commonly integrated as induced resistance (IR), control pathogens and pests by the activation of specific defence pathways. IR mechanisms have been extensively studied in the Dicotyledoneae, whereas knowledge of IR in monocotyledonous plants, including the globally important graminaceous crop plants, is elusive. Considering the potential of IR for sustainable agriculture and the recent advances in monocot genomics and biotechnology, IR in monocots is an emerging research field. In the following, current facts and trends concerning basal immunity, and systemic acquired/induced systemic resistance in the defence of monocots against pathogens and herbivores will be summarized.
Dirk Balmer, Chantal Planchamp, and Brigitte Mauch-Mani