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Plants have evolved complex tolerance systems to survive abiotic and biotic stresses. Central to these programmes is a sophisticated conversation of signals between the chloroplast and the nucleus. In this review, we examine the antagonism between abiotic stress tolerance (AST) and immunity: we propose that to generate immunogenic signals, plants must disable AST systems, in particular those that manage reactive oxygen species (ROS), while the pathogen seeks to reactivate or enhance those systems to achieve virulence. By boosting host systems of AST, pathogens trick the plant into suppressing chloroplast immunogenic signals and steer the host into making an inappropriate immune response. Pathogens disrupt chloroplast function, both transcriptionally-by secreting effectors that alter host gene expression by interacting with defence-related kinase cascades, with transcription factors, or with promoters themselves-and post-transcriptionally, by delivering effectors that enter the chloroplast or alter the localization of host proteins to change chloroplast activities. These mechanisms reconfigure the chloroplast proteome and chloroplast-originating immunogenic signals in order to promote infection.

Original publication




Journal article


Essays Biochem

Publication Date





21 - 39


biotic stress, chloroplasts, oxidative stress, plant pathology, plastids