The Role of Roots in Plant Defence

Erb, Matthias (2012). The Role of Roots in Plant Defence. In: Mérillon, Jean Michel; Ramawat, Kishan Gopal (eds.) Plant Defence: Biological Control (pp. 291-309). Springer Netherlands 10.1007/978-94-007-1933-0_12

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Roots play an important role for plant defence and resistance against pathogens and insect herbivores: They act as environmental sensors for space, nutrients and water, they are important biosynthetic sites of plant toxins, they can store assimilates for future regrowth, and they possess themselves a potent defensive system to fend off belowground attackers. Although roots are often seen as passive tissue that only delivers services to the rest of the plant, it is becoming increasingly evident that roots actively respond to environmental conditions and are a vital part of the plant’s signaling and perception machinery. This chapter summarizes what is known about roots as constituents of plant resistance and defense mechanisms, with a particular emphasis on signaling aspects. It also discusses how the increasing knowledge about roots can be used to help protect plants from harmful pests.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biotic Interactions
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Erb, Matthias


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)




Springer Netherlands




Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

02 Dec 2015 11:50

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:50

Publisher DOI:





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