Ménage à Trois: Unraveling the Mechanisms Regulating Plant–Microbe–Arthropod Interactions

Kristina Gruden* (Corresponding author), Javier Lidoy, Marko Petek, Vid Podpečan, Victor Flors, Kalliopi K. Papadopoulou, Maria L. Pappas, Ainhoa Martinez-Medina, Eduardo Bejarano, Arjen Biere, Maria J. Pozo (Corresponding author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


Plant–microbe–arthropod (PMA) three-way interactions have important implications for plant health. However, our poor understanding of the underlying regulatory mechanisms hampers their biotechnological applications. To this end, we searched for potential common patterns in plant responses regarding taxonomic groups or lifestyles. We found that most signaling modules regulating two-way interactions also operate in three-way interactions. Furthermore, the relative contribution of signaling modules to the final plant response cannot be directly inferred from two-way interactions. Moreover, our analyses show that three-way interactions often result in the activation of additional pathways, as well as in changes in the speed or intensity of defense activation. Thus, detailed, basic knowledge of plant–microbe–arthropod regulation will be essential for the design of environmentally friendly crop management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1215-1226
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • arthropods
  • defense priming
  • multiway interactions
  • mycorrhizal fungi
  • phytohormones
  • plant defense
  • plant growth-promoting microorganisms
  • plant immune system
  • signaling networks
  • systems biology
  • international
  • Plan_S-Compliant_NO
  • Signal Transduction
  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Arthropods


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