Plant Immunity: From Signaling to Epigenetic Control of Defense

Juan S. Ramirez-Prado, Aala A. Abulfaraj, Naganand Rayapuram, Moussa Benhamed*, Heribert Hirt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


Pathogen recognition by plants results in the activation of signaling pathways that induce defense reactions. There is growing evidence indicating that epigenetic mechanisms directly participate in plant immune memory. Here, we discuss current knowledge of diverse epigenomic processes and elements, such as noncoding RNAs, DNA and RNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications, and chromatin remodeling, that have been associated with the regulation of immune responses in plants. Furthermore, we discuss the currently limited evidence of transgenerational inheritance of pathogen-induced defense priming, together with its potentials, challenges, and limitations for crop improvement and biotechnological applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)833-844
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in plant science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • defense signaling
  • epigenetics
  • immunity memory
  • innate immunity
  • priming
  • trained immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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