The University of Sheffield
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

Dr Jurriaan Ton

Dr Jurriaan Ton


Key Research Interests

PlantDiagram 1as in relatively stress-free environments invest most of their resources in growth and reproduction (left). If plants live in hostile environments and are attacked by harmful microbes or insects, they activate inducible defence mechanisms (right). Expression of this “induced defense” is often costly due to allocation of limited resources to defensive compounds, or toxicity of the defense to the plant’s own metabolism. Plants are also capable of sensing environemtal cues that indicate upcoming stress. These signals can “sensitize” or “prime” the plant’s immune system (middle), which results in a faster and/or stronger defence reaction when the plant is attacked at a later stage. Although the level of disease protection by priming tends to be less than that by induced defence, priming is effective against a broad range of (a)biotic stress and comes with considerably fewer costs than induced defence (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA,103: 5602-5607).

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Selected Publications

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Neal, A., Ahmad, S., Gordon-Weeks, R., and Ton, J. (2012) Benzoxazinoids in root exudates of maize attract Pseudomonas putida to the rhizoshere. PLoS ONE 7(4): e35498

Luna, E. et al., & Ton, J. (2011) Next generation systemic acquired resistance. Plant Physiol 158: 317-327

Ahmad, S. et al., & Ton, J. (2011) Benzoxazinoid metabolites regulate innate immunity against aphids and fungi in maize. Plant Physiol 157: 317-327

Ahmad, S. et al., & Ton, J. (2011) Genetic dissection of natural variation in basal defences between Arabadopsis thaliana accessions. Plant Cell Environ 34: 1191-1206

Van der Ent, S. et al., & Ton, J. (2009) Priming of plant innate immunity by rhizobacteria and beta-aminobutyric acid: differences and similarities in regulation. New Phytol 183: 419-431

Ton, J., Flors, V., & Mauch-Mani, B. (2009) The multifaceted role of ABA in disease resistance. Trends Plant Sci 14: 310-317

Erb, M. et al., Ton, J. (2009) Signal signature of aboverground-induced resistance upon belowground herbivory in maize. Plant J 59: 292-302

Heil, M. & Ton., J. (2008) Long-distance signalling in plant defence. Trends Plant Sci 13: 264-272

Ton, J. et al., & Turlings, T. (2007) Priming by air-borne signals boosts direct and indirect resistance in maize. Plant J 49: 16-26

Van Hulten, et al., & Ton, J. (2006) Costs and benefits of priming for defense in Arabadopsis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103: 5602-5607

Turlings, T.C.J. & Ton, J. (2006) Exploting scents of distress: the prospect of manipulating herbivore-induced plant odours to enhance the control of agricultural pests. Curr Opinion Plant Biol 9: 421-427

Ton, J., et al. (2005) Dissecting the ß-aminobutyric acid-induced priming phenomenon in Arabadopsis. Plant Cell 17: 987-999

Ton, J. & Mauch-Mani, B. (2004) ß-amino-butyric acid-induced resistance against necrotrophic pathogens is based on ABA-dependent priming for callose. Plant J 38: 119-130