Nematode ascaroside enhances resistance in a broad spectrum of plant–pathogen systems

Daniel F. Klessig, Murli Manohar, Shine Baby, Aline Koch, Wiseborn B. Danquah, Emily Luna, Hee Jin Park, Judith M. Kolkman, B. Gillian Turgeon, Rebecca Nelson, Jan E. Leach, Valerie M. Williamson, Karl Heinz Kogel, Aardra Kachroo, Frank C. Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Recognition of specific molecule signatures of microbes, including pathogens, induces innate immune responses in plants, as well as in animals. Analogously, a nematode pheromone, the ascaroside ascr#18, induces hallmark plant defences including activation of (a) mitogen-activated protein kinases, (b) salicylic acid- and jasmonic acid-mediated defence signalling pathways and (c) defence gene expression and provides protection to a broad spectrum of pathogens. Ascr#18 is a member of an evolutionarily conserved family of nematode signalling molecules and is the major ascaroside secreted by plant–parasitic nematodes. Here, we report the effects of ascr#18 on resistance in four of the major economically important crops: maize, rice, wheat and soybean to some of their associated pathogens. Treatment with low nanomolar to low micromolar concentrations of ascr#18 provided from partial to strong protection in seven of eight plant–pathogen systems tested with viruses, bacteria, fungi, oomycetes and nematodes. This research may have potential to improve agricultural sustainability by reducing use of potentially harmful agrochemicals and enhance food security worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-272
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Phytopathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Blackwell Verlag GmbH


  • crop protection
  • disease resistance
  • nematode ascarosides
  • nematode resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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