New paper from the Lewis Lab highlights environmental contribution to plant-pathogen interactions.

In collaboration with the White Lab at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, they showed that the soil environment can contribute to plant resistance to the foliar pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. They showed that plants have increased resistance to P. syringae when grown in soil amended with silicon, although silicon does not directly contribute to host resistance. Basal immunity and effector-triggered immunity were not impacted by the soil environment of the plants, and salicylic acid signaling did not contribute to the enhanced resistance. Their work suggests that other properties of the soil promote host resistance, and points to the importance of careful documentation of the environment in which plants are grown.