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ACTIVATORS Controlling Turfgrass Disease
By Tom Hsiang, PhD, Paul H. Goodwin, PhD, and Alejandra M. Cortes-Barco, M.Sc.
P lants are known for their many
natural defence mechanisms
against stresses, including those
caused by diseases. Unfortunately,
under intensive plant maintenance
systems, these natural mechanisms are
often unable to guard against outbreaks
without significant economic loss.
However, there are chemicals that have
been observed to stimulate the natural
resistance pathways in plants, although
most research has been conducted on
broadleaf plants. These compounds
generally do not have a direct antifungal
activity, but act by triggering existing
defence mechanisms of the plant.
This article examines the role of these
compounds in turfgrass.
Activated resistance against
Activated, acquired, or induced resistance is
a physiological state in which environmental,
chemical, or biological stimuli increase
a plant’s defences against subsequent
pathogen or insect pest attack. During
induced resistance, the activating agent—
often called a ‘plant defence activator’—
is recognized by the plant or stimulates a
part of a recognition-signalling pathway.
The pathway(s) eventually promote the
expression of genes resulting in activation
of defence mechanisms, such as production
of antimicrobial proteins. 1 The enhanced
resistance is expressed locally at the site of
infection, or, in some cases, systemically
throughout the plant. 2
24 January 2014
1/6/14 2:29 PM