Acibenzolar-S-methyl activates stomatal-based defense against Pseudomonas cannabina pv. alisalensis in cabbage

  • Takako Ishiga
  • Yumi Iida
  • Nanami Sakata
  • Tsutomu Ugajin
  • Tetsuya Hirata
  • Shizuku Taniguchi
  • Keisuke Hayashi
  • Yasuhiro IshigaEmail author
Disease Control


Pseudomonas cannabina pv. alisalensis (Pcal), which causes bacterial blight of brassicaceous plants, is an economically important pathogen worldwide. Copper fungicide and antibiotics are major strategies to manage the disease caused by Pcal; however, a Pcal strain resistant to these chemicals has already been found, and severe outbreaks of bacterial blight have been reported on cabbage in Japan. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new Pcal management strategies. Plant defense activators could be useful not only to protect plants against invading pathogens, but also to reduce the amount of copper fungicides and antibiotics applied. However, the mechanisms by which plant defense activators contribute to controlling diseases remains unclear. In this work, we focused on cabbage and acibenzolar-S-methyl (ASM), a well-known plant defense activator. Expression profiles revealed that ASM induced expression of systemic acquired resistance (SAR) marker genes including PR1, PR2, and PR5 in cabbage plants. We also demonstrated that a soil drench with ASM 2 h before transplanting clearly reduced bacterial blight symptoms and reduced Pcal bacterial populations in cabbage. ASM application was also able to prime cabbage for Pcal resistance by activating stomatal-based defense. Our findings highlight that ASM protects plants from bacterial pathogens by activating stomatal-based defense.


Acibenzolar-S-methyl Pseudomonas cannabina pv. alisalensis Cabbage Stomatal-based defense Plant defense activator 



We thank Dr. Christina Baker for editing the manuscript. Pcal was kindly provided by the Nagano Vegetable and Ornamental Crops Experiment Station, Nagano, Japan. This work was supported in part by the JST ERATO NOMURA Microbial Community Control Project, JST, Japan.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human participants or animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© The Phytopathological Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takako Ishiga
    • 1
  • Yumi Iida
    • 1
  • Nanami Sakata
    • 1
  • Tsutomu Ugajin
    • 2
  • Tetsuya Hirata
    • 2
  • Shizuku Taniguchi
    • 2
  • Keisuke Hayashi
    • 2
  • Yasuhiro Ishiga
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Syngenta JapanUshikuJapan

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