Insects–plants-pathogens: Toxicity, dependence and defense dynamics

Ali Noman*, Muhammad Aqeel, Waqar Islam, Noreen Khalid, Noreen Akhtar, Muhammad Qasim, Ghulam Yasin, Mohamed Hashem, Saad Alamri, Omar Mahmoud Al-Zoubi, Muhammad Moazam Jalees, Abdullah Al-sadi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In a natural ecosystem, the pathogen-plant-insect relationship has diverse implications for each other. The pathogens as well as insect-pests consume plant tissues as their feed that mostly results in damage. In turn, plant species have evolved specialized defense system to not only protect themselves but reduce the damage also. Such tripartite interactions involve toxicity, metabolic modulations, resistance etc. among all participants of interaction. These attributes result in selection pressure among participants. Coevolution of such traits reveals need to focus and unravel multiple hidden aspects of insect-plant–pathogen interactions. The definite modulations during plant responses to biotic stress and the operating defense network against herbivores are vital to research areas. Different types of plant pathogens and herbivores are tackled with various changes in plants, e.g. changes in genes expression, glucosinolate metabolism detoxification, signal transduction, cell wall modifications, Ca2+dependent signaling. It is essential to clarify which chemical in plants can work as a defense signal or weapon in plant-pathogen-herbivore interactions. In spite of increased knowledge regarding signal transduction pathways regulating growth-defense balance, much more is needed to unveil the coordination of growth rate with metabolic modulations in bi-trophic interactions. Here, we addressed plant-pathogen-insect interaction for toxicity as well as dependnce along with plant defense dynamics against pathogens and insects with broad range effects at the physio-biochemical and molecular level. We have reviewed interfaces in plant-pathogen-insect research to show pulsating regulation of plant immunity for attuning survival and ecological equilibrium. An improved understanding of the systematic foundation of growth-defense stability has vital repercussions for enhancing crop yield, including insights into uncoupling of host-parasite tradeoffs for ecological and environmental sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-98
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2021


  • Innate immunity
  • Physiological modulations
  • Plants
  • Signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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