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Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Microbial Disease Control in Intercropping

Zhu, Shusheng, Morel, Jean-Benoît
Molecular plant-microbe interactions 2019 v.32 no.1 pp. 20-24
disease control, induced resistance, inoculum, intercropping, nutrients, pathogens, plant protection
Many reports indicate that intercropping, which usually consists of growing two species next to each other, reduces the incidence of microbial diseases. Besides mechanisms operating at the field level, like inoculum dilution, there is recent evidence that plant-centered mechanisms with identified plant molecules and pathways are also involved. First, plants may trigger the induction of resistance in neighboring plants by the well-known mechanism of induced resistance. Second, molecules produced by one plant, either above- or belowground, can directly inhibit pathogens or indirectly trigger resistance through the induction of the plant immune system in neighboring plants. Third, competition for resources such as light or nutrients may indirectly modify the expression of the plant immune system. The conceptual frameworks of nonkin/stranger recognition and competition may be useful to further investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying crop protection in interspecific plant mixtures.