Increasing the resilience of plant immunity to a warming climate

Extreme weather conditions associated with climate change affect many aspects of plant and animal life, including the response to infectious diseases. Production of salicylic acid (SA), a central plant defence hormone is particularly vulnerable to suppression by short periods of hot weather above the normal plant growth temperature range via an unknown mechanism. Here we show that suppression of SA production in Arabidopsis thaliana at 28 °C is independent of PHYTOCHROME B8,9 (phyB) and EARLY FLOWERING 310 (ELF3), which regulate thermo-responsive plant growth and development. Instead, we found that formation of GUANYLATE BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE 3 (GBPL3) defence-activated biomolecular condensates (GDACs) was reduced at the higher growth temperature. The altered GDAC formation in vivo is linked to impaired recruitment of GBPL3 and SA-associated Mediator subunits to the promoters of CBP60g and SARD1, which encode master immune transcription factors. Unlike many other SA signalling components, including the SA receptor and biosynthetic genes, optimized CBP60g expression was sufficient to broadly restore SA production, basal immunity and effector-triggered immunity at the elevated growth temperature without significant growth trade-offs. CBP60g family transcription factors are widely conserved in plants. These results have implications for safeguarding the plant immune system as well as understanding the concept of the plant–pathogen–environment disease triangle and the emergence of new disease epidemics in a warming climate.
© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Nature, 2022, available online at: . Keywords: salycylic acid; Arabidopsis thaliana; plant immune system; climate change.
Kim, J.H., Castroverde, C.D.M., Huang, S. et al. Increasing the resilience of plant immunity to a warming climate. Nature 607, 339–344 (2022).