AHL-priming for enhanced resistance as a tool in sustainable agriculture
Bacteria communicate with each other through quorum sensing (QS) molecules. N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHL) are one of the most extensively studied groups of QS molecules. The role of AHL molecules is not limited to interactions between bacteria; they also mediate inter-kingdom interaction with eukaryotes. The perception mechanism of AHL is well-known in bacteria and several proteins have been proposed as putative receptors in mammalian cells. However, not much is known about the perception of AHL in plants. Plants generally respond to short-chained AHL with modification in growth, while long-chained AHL induce AHL-priming for enhanced resistance. Since plants may host several AHL-producing bacteria and encounter multiple AHL at once, a coordinated response is required. The effect of the AHL combination showed relatively low impact on growth but enhanced resistance. Microbial consortium of bacterial strains that produce different AHL could therefore be an interesting approach in sustainable agriculture. Here, we review the molecular and genetical basis required for AHL perception. We highlight recent advances in the field of AHL-priming. We also discuss the recent discoveries on the impact of combination(s) of multiple AHL on crop plants and the possible use of this knowledge in sustainable agriculture.