The signaling roles of glutathione in plant disease resistance

G. Gullner, Bernd Zechmann, András Künstler, Lóránt Király

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Citations (Scopus)


Early studies showed that glutathione (GSH) as an antioxidant has a role in modulating plant tolerance to biotic stresses by suppressing localized necrotic symptoms following virus infections. The role of GSH in reducing severity of pathogen-induced symptoms in plants was confirmed by employing pharmacological and transgenic approaches. However, later studies have shown that GSH also has a key role in restricting pathogen levels. In fact, it seems that GSH is a pivotal factor responsible for signaling processes related to different types of plant disease resistance, including systemic acquired resistance. The signaling role of GSH in these processes is interconnected with reactive oxygen species and salicylic acid. GSH also regulates the function of plant defense-associated transcription factors and the transcriptional coregulator NPR1 by modulating their redox state. Another layer of regulation is provided by the nitric oxide donor S-nitrosoglutathione that promotes S-nitrosylation of defense-related transcription factors and transcriptional coregulators. Importantly, the role of GSH in mediating plant disease resistance-related signaling processes is independent of its antioxidant function. Changes in GSH levels and redox state triggered during plant biotic stress are not simply passive responses to oxidative damage, since GSH status regulates important elements of cellular signaling that leads to activation of defense responses.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlutathione in Plant Growth, Development, and Stress Tolerance
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9783319666822
ISBN (Print)9783319666815
Publication statusPublished - Nov 21 2017



  • Antioxidants
  • Ethylene
  • Glutathione
  • NO
  • NPR1
  • Plant disease resistance
  • Plant-pathogen interactions
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Salicylic acid
  • Signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Gullner, G., Zechmann, B., Künstler, A., & Király, L. (2017). The signaling roles of glutathione in plant disease resistance. In Glutathione in Plant Growth, Development, and Stress Tolerance (pp. 331-357). Springer International Publishing.