Defense priming: An adaptive part of induced resistance

Brigitte Mauch-Mani, Ivan Baccelli, Estrella Luna Diez, Victor Flors

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

245 Citations (Scopus)


Priming is an adaptive strategy that improves the defensive capacity of plants. This phenomenon is marked by an enhanced activation of induced defense mechanisms. Stimuli from pathogens, beneficial microbes, or arthropods, as well as chemicals and abiotic cues, can trigger the establishment of priming by acting as warning signals. Upon stimulus perception, changes may occur in the plant at the physiological, transcriptional, metabolic, and epigenetic levels. This phase is called the priming phase. Upon subsequent challenge, the plant effectively mounts a faster and/or stronger defense response that defines the postchallenge primed state and results in increased resistance and/or stress tolerance. Priming can be durable and maintained throughout the plant's life cycle and can even be transmitted to subsequent generations, therefore representing a type of plant immunological memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-512
JournalAnnual Review of Plant Biology
Early online date2 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • priming
  • induced resistance
  • adaptive immunity
  • stimuli
  • transgenerational resistance
  • response to stress


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