Vaccine-like alternative method for plant protection: stimulating the innate immune system of plants.
Dr. Marco Zarattini Crop Production and Biostimulation Laboratory Université libre de Bruxelles
Despite traditional protection methods, including chemical compounds or pesticides generally unhealthy for people and environment, plant diseases affect the crop yield as much as 40 per cent of the global agricultural crops are lost annually, according to estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2021. Moreover, this dramatic scenario is further exacerbated by the current climate changes, increasing the intensity, frequency, and duration of extreme conditions crops must face off. An alternative and environmental-friendly method of plant protection is through the activation of its immune system. Indeed, the plant immune system can be triggered by the exogenous application of molecules with elicitor properties, such as plant hormones. On the other hand, several other compounds, naturally present inside the plants on in the surrounding environments, can be helpful at this aim.
In this talk a better view of this alternative method is given and several cases are illustrated.