A comprehensive meta-analysis reveals the key variables and scope of Seed Defence

When encountered with pathogens or herbivores, the activation of plant defence results in a penalty in plant growth. Even though plant priming has the potential of enhancing resistance without fitness cost, hurdles such as mode of application of the priming agent or even detrimental effects in plant fitness have yet to be overcome. Here, we review and propose Seed Defence Priming as an efficient and reliable approach for pathogen protection and pest management. This meta-analysis gathers all available experimental data to date and evaluates the magnitude of the effect of Seed Defence Priming depending on plant host, antagonist class, arthropod feeding guild and type of priming agent, as well as the influence of parameter selection in measuring Seed Defence Priming effect on plant and antagonist performance. Seed Defence Priming enhances plant resistance while hindering antagonist performance and without a penalty in plant fitness. Specifically, it has a positive effect on crops and cereals, while negatively affecting fungi, bacteria and arthropods. Plant natural compounds and biological isolates have a stronger influence in plant and antagonist performance than synthetic chemicals and volatiles. This is the first meta-analysis conducted evaluating the effect of Seed Defence Priming against biotic stresses, studying both plant and pest/pathogen performance. We proved its efficacy in enhancing both, plant resistance and plant fitness, and its wide range of application. In addition, we offered insight into the selection of the most suitable priming agent and directed the focus of interest for novel research on this field.


Original Paper:

Talavera-Mateo, L., Garcia, A., Santamaria, M.E. 2023. A comprehensive meta-analysis reveals the key variables and scope of seed defense priming. Frontiers in Plant Science 14. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2023.1208449