Skip to main content


Synthetic elicitors of plant immunity

Research Achievements

Synthetic elicitors of plant immunity

Immunity of plants to pathogenic microorganisms is dependent on a complex regulatory network. To identify new synthetic elicitors of plant immunity, ChemGen fellows, under the direction of Thomas Eulgem, set up an in planta high-throughput chemical screening system based on a transgenic line of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana containing a pathogen-inducible reporter gene (Knoth et al., 2009). Screening all available library resources (~62,000 compounds) of the Center for Plant Cell Biology at UC Riverside, they identified ~100 synthetic elicitors of immunity. Several elicit efficient immunity to fungal and bacterial pathogens and least three interfere at different levels in plant immune system. Research products include publications and a patent application. This project, which is performed by fellows Knoth and Salus (biologists), involved interactions between faculty in biology (Eulgem), analytical chemistry (Larive), organic chemistry (Pirrung), and chemi-informatics (Girke).