How do plants achieve immunity? Defence without specialized immune cells.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

Vertebrates have evolved a sophisticated adaptive immune system that relies on an almost infinite diversity of antigen receptors that are clonally expressed by specialized immune cells that roam the circulatory system. These immune cells provide vertebrates with extraordinary antigen-specific immune capacity and memory, while minimizing self-reactivity. Plants, however, lack specialized mobile immune cells. Instead, every plant cell is thought to be capable of launching an effective immune response. So how do plants achieve specific, self-tolerant immunity and establish immune memory? Recent developments point towards a multilayered plant innate immune system comprised of self-surveillance, systemic signalling and chromosomal changes that together establish effective immunity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Spoel, SH; Dong, X

Published Date

  • January 25, 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 89 - 100

PubMed ID

  • 22273771

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1474-1741

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1474-1733

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/nri3141


  • eng