Four host-coded ‘pathogenesis-related’ proteins accumulate systemically in local-lesion-forming varieties of tobacco after infection with tobacco mosaic virus. It has been suggested that they are involved in the acquired systemic resistance of plants to a second inoculation. Pathogenesis-related protein concentration and amount of resistance (reduction in size and number of lesions formed in the second inoculation) were measured at various times after the first inoculation. The results showed no quantitative or temporal relationship between amounts of resistance and pathogenesis-related proteins. In particular, resistance could be demonstrated in leaves before detectable accumulation of pathogenesis-related protein. Abscisic acid sprayed on plants induced an apparent resistance without inducing pathogenesis-related proteins. Low doses of methyl benzimidazol-2yl-carbamate caused accumulation of pathogenesis-related protein but not resistance. plants accumulated large amounts of a similar protein after infection, but became more susceptible to a second inoculation. All these results suggest that the pathogenesis-related proteins do not play a central role in the mechanism of acquired systemic resistance.


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