Tackling the context-dependency of microbial-induced resistance

Ana Shein Lee Díaz* (Corresponding author), Desiré Macheda, Haymanti Saha, Ursula Ploll, Dimitri Orine, Arjen Biere

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)


Plant protection with beneficial microbes is considered to be a promising alternative to chemical control of pests and pathogens. Beneficial microbes can boost plant defences via induced systemic resistance (ISR), enhancing plant resistance against future biotic stresses. Although the use of ISR-inducing microbes in agriculture seems promising, the activation of ISR is context-dependent: it often occurs only under particular biotic and abiotic conditions, thus making its use unpredictable and hindering its application. Although major breakthroughs in research on mechanistic aspects of ISR have been reported, ISR research is mainly conducted under highly controlled conditions, differing from those in agricultural systems. This forms one of the bottlenecks for the development of applications based on ISR-inducing microbes in commercial agriculture. We propose an approach that explicitly incorporates context-dependent factors in ISR research to improve the predictability of ISR induction under environmentally variable conditions. Here, we highlight how abiotic and biotic factors influence plant–microbe interactions in the context of ISR. We also discuss the need to raise awareness in harnessing interdisciplinary efforts between researchers and stakeholders partaking in the development of applications involving ISR-inducing microbes for sustainable agriculture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1293
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Context-dependency
  • Environmental stressor
  • Microbial induced systemic resistance
  • Microbial inoculants
  • Plant defence
  • international
  • Plan_S-Compliant-OA


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