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Using Green Vaccination to Brighten the Agronomic Future

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Crop plants host a variety of pests and diseases that can ultimately reduce agricultural productivity. Current methods of pest and disease control depend largely on pesticides. However, the use of chemicals alone is increasingly regarded as unsustainable due to the development of resistance and the introduction of stricter European regulation. There is a need, therefore, to reduce their use and to pursue the development of new Integrated Pest (and disease) Management (IPM) strategies. Research that focuses on the role that the plant's immune system can play against these biological threats provides another potential source for future IPM strategies. Plants have sophisticated ways to defend themselves effectively and some stimuli can augment their innate immune capacity to resist future diseases. This phenomenon is known as priming of defence. Studies, mainly in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, have unravelled the molecular and physiological mechanisms of this apparent plant 'vaccination'. This article describes recent findings and provides the ingredients for the “right formulation” in order to integrate green vaccination as a tool for the second green revolution.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2016-06-01

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