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Activation and Suppression of Plant Immunity

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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01088

Multifunctional roles of plant cuticle during plant-pathogen interactions

 Carmit Ziv1, Zhenzhen Zhao2, Yu G. Gao3 and  Ye Xia2*
  • 1Department of Postharvest and Food Sciences, ARO, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Israel
  • 2Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University, United States
  • 3Horticulture & Crop Science, Ohio State University South Centers, United States

In land plants the cuticle is the outermost layer interacting with the environment. This lipophilic layer comprises the polyester cutin embedded in cuticular wax; and it forms a physical barrier to protect plants from desiccation as well as from diverse biotic and abiotic stresses. However, the cuticle is not merely a passive, mechanical shield. The increasing research on plant leaves has addressed the active roles of the plant cuticle in both local and systemic resistance against a variety of plant pathogens. Moreover, the fruit cuticle also serves as an important determinant of fruit defense and quality. It shares features with those of vegetative organs, but also exhibits specific characteristics, the functions of which gain increasing attention in recent years. This review describes multiple roles of plant cuticle during plant-pathogen interactions and its responses to both leaf and fruit pathogens. These include the dynamic changes of plant cuticle during pathogen infection; the crosstalk of cuticle with plant cell wall and diverse hormone signaling pathways for plant disease resistance; and the major biochemical, molecular, and cellular mechanisms that underlie the roles of cuticle during plant-pathogen interactions. Although research developments in the field have greatly advanced our understanding of the roles of plant cuticle in plant defense, there still remain large gaps in our knowledge. Therefore, the challenges thus presented, and future directions of research also are discussed in this review.

Keywords: plant cuticle, cutin and wax, Plant-pathogen interaction, plant defense, cuticle-cell wall continuum, hormone signaling

Received: 30 Apr 2018; Accepted: 05 Jul 2018.

Edited by:

Zhengqing Fu, University of South Carolina, Columbia, United States

Reviewed by:

Dylan Kosma, University of Nevada, Reno, United States
Lirong Zeng, University of Nebraska System, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Ziv, Zhao, Gao and Xia. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Ye Xia, The Ohio State University, Plant Pathology, Columbus, 43210, OH, United States,