Nutrient Elements Promote Disease Resistance in Tomato by Differentially Activating Immune Pathways

Rupali Gupta, Meirav Leibman-Markus, Gautam Anand, Dalia Rav-David, Uri Yermiyahu, Yigal Elad, Maya Bar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nutrient elements play essential roles in plant growth, development, and reproduction. Balanced nutrition is critical for plant health and the ability to withstand biotic stress. Treatment with essential elements has been shown to induce disease resistance in certain cases. Understanding the functional mechanisms underlying plant immune responses to nutritional elements has the potential to provide new insights into crop improvement. In the present study, we investigated the effect of various elements-potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sodium (Na)-in promoting resistance against the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea and the hemibiotrophic bacterium Xanthomonas euvesicatoria in tomato. We demonstrate that spray treatment of essential elements was sufficient to activate immune responses, inducing defense gene expression, cellular leakage, reactive oxygen species, and ethylene production. We report that different defense signaling pathways are required for induction of immunity in response to different elements. Our results suggest that genetic mechanisms that are modulated by nutrient elements can be exploited in agricultural practices to promote disease resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2360-2371
Number of pages12
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Botrytis cinerea
  • combinatorial stress
  • essential elements
  • induced immunity
  • induced resistance
  • tomato


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