An Emerging Role for Chloroplasts in Disease and Defense

Pradeep Kachroo, Tessa M. Burch-Smith, Murray Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Chloroplasts are key players in plant immune signaling, contributing to not only de novo synthesis of defensive phytohormones but also the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species following activation of pattern recognition receptors or resistance (R) proteins. The local hypersensitive response (HR) elicited by R proteins is underpinned by chloroplast-generated reactive oxygen species. HR-induced lipid peroxidation generates important chloroplast-derived signaling lipids essential to the establishment of systemic immunity. As a consequence of this pivotal role in immunity, pathogens deploy effector complements that directly or indirectly target chloroplasts to attenuate chloroplast immunity (CI). Our review summarizes the current knowledge of CI signaling and highlights common pathogen chloroplast targets and virulence strategies. We address emerging insights into chloroplast retrograde signaling in immune responses and gaps in our knowledge, including the importance of understanding chloroplast heterogeneity and chloroplast involvement in intraorganellular interactions in host immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-445
Number of pages23
JournalAnnual Review of Phytopathology
StatePublished - Aug 25 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


  • Chloroplast immunity
  • ETI
  • Lipids
  • PTI
  • Plasmodesmata
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Retrograde signaling
  • Systemic immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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