The rhizobacterial elicitor acetoin induces systemic resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana

Thimmaraju Rudrappa, Meredith L. Biedrzycki, Sridhara G. Kunjeti, Nicole M. Donofrio, Kirk J. Czymmek, Paul W. Paré, Harsh P. Bais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


The majority of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) confer plant immunity against a wide range of foliar diseases by activating plant defences that reduce a plant's susceptibility to pathogen attack. Here we show that Arabidopsis thaliana (Col-0) plants exposed to Bacillus subtilis strain FB17 (hereafter FB17), results in reduced disease severity against Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (hereafter DC3000) compared to plants without FB17 treatment. Exogenous application of the B. subtilis derived elicitor, acetoin (3-hydroxy-2-butanone), was found to trigger induced systemic resistance (ISR) and protect plants against DC3000 pathogenesis. Moreover, B. subtilis acetoin biosynthetic mutants that emitted reduced levels of acetoin conferred reduced protection to A. thaliana against pathogen infection. Further analysis using FB17 and defense-compromised mutants of A. thaliana indicated that resistance to DC3000 occurs via NPR1 and requires salicylic acid (SA)/ethylene (ET) whereas jasmonic acid (JA) is not essential. This study provides new insight into the role of rhizo-bacterial volatile components as elicitors of defense responses in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-138
Number of pages9
JournalCommunicative and Integrative Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Acetoin
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Bacillus
  • Defense response
  • Salicylic acid


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