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Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2009;47:177-206. doi: 10.1146/annurev.phyto.050908.135202.

Salicylic Acid, a multifaceted hormone to combat disease.

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Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, 50829 Cologne, Germany.


For more than 200 years, the plant hormone salicylic acid (SA) has been studied for its medicinal use in humans. However, its extensive signaling role in plants, particularly in defense against pathogens, has only become evident during the past 20 years. This review surveys how SA in plants regulates both local disease resistance mechanisms, including host cell death and defense gene expression, and systemic acquired resistance (SAR). Genetic studies reveal an increasingly complex network of proteins required for SA-mediated defense signaling, and this process is amplified by several regulatory feedback loops. The interaction between the SA signaling pathway and those regulated by other plant hormones and/or defense signals is also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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