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Benzothiadiazole, a novel class of inducers of systemic acquired resistance, activates gene expression and disease resistance in wheat.

Gorlach J., Volrath S., Knauf-Beiter G., Hengy G., Beckhove U., Kogel K.-H., Oostendorp M., Staub T., Ward E., Kessman H., Ryals J.

Plant Cell 8: 629-643 (1996)


Systemic acquired resistance is an important component of the disease resistance repertoire of plants. In this study, a novel synthetic chemical, benzo(1,2,3)thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester (BTH), was shown to induce acquired resistance in wheat. BTH protected wheat systemically against powdery mildew infection by affecting multiple steps in the life cycle of the pathogen. The onset of resistance was accompanied by the induction of a number of newly described wheat chemically induced (WCI) genes, including genes encoding a lipoxygenase and a sulfur-rich protein. With respect to both timing and effectiveness, a tight correlation existed between the onset of resistance and the induction of the WCI genes. Compared with other plant activators, such as 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid and salicylic acid, BTH was the most potent inducer of both resistance and gene induction. BTH is being developed commercially as a novel type of plant protection compound that works by inducing the plant's inherent disease resistance mechanisms.

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