General defense reaction in the plant kingdom

J. Szarka, O. Toldi, E. Szarka, J. Remenyik, G. Csilléry

Research output: Review article

10 Citations (Scopus)


The fact that production is often unsuccessful even when resistant varieties are selected on the basis of the hypersensitive reaction can be attributed to the lack of adequate knowledge on plant disease resistance. In addition to specific plant responses to pathogen species, plants also possess an aspecific defense reaction which, instead of causing rapid tissue destruction, is based on the opposite strategy, protecting the plant against attack by microbes through tissue compaction achieved by cell enlargement and cell division. Genetic analyses carried out in pepper revealed that the general defense reaction was inherited as a monogenic recessive trait (gds). Pathophysiological observations indicate that the stimulus threshold is lower and the reaction rate faster than for specific defense reactions. Biochemical analyses suggest that, unlike plants exhibiting rapid tissue destruction, plants containing the gds gene do not require an oxidative burst elicited by hydrogen peroxide to stimulate the defense mechanism. It was also found that the regulation of the general defense system involves metabolic pathways that are independent of salicylic acid. The general and specific plant reactions form an integrated system of plant defense.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-232
Number of pages12
JournalActa Agronomica Hungarica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - dec. 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

Szarka, J., Toldi, O., Szarka, E., Remenyik, J., & Csilléry, G. (2006). General defense reaction in the plant kingdom. Acta Agronomica Hungarica, 54(2), 221-232.