Professor Jurriaan Ton
School of Biosciences
Professor of Plant Environmental Signalling
+44 114 222 0081
Full contact details
School of Biosciences
Alfred Denny Building
- Professor of Plant Environmental Signalling, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK (2015-present)
- Co-director of the Plant Production and Protection (P3) Centre of excellence for translational agricultural technologies (2014-present)
- ERC Research Fellow (Consolidator grant and Proof-of-Concept), Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK (2012-2020)
- Lecturer, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK (2011-2015)
- Principal Investigator and BBSRC Research Fellow, Rothamsted Research Centre of Sustainable Pest and Disease Management, UK (2008-2011)
- Principal Investigator and NWO-VENI Research Fellow, Department of Biology, Plant-Microbe Interactions, Utrecht University, The Netherlands (2004-2008)
- Postdoctoral researcher, Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Entomology, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (2004)
- Postdoctoral researcher, Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (2001-2003)
- Postdoctoral researcher, Section Phytopathology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands (2001)
- PhD in Biology, Section Phytopathology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands (2001)
- MSc in Biology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands (1996)
- Research interests
Our lab investigates how plants employ their immune system to adapt to environmental stress (Wilkinson et al. 2019). Plants in relatively stress-free environments invest most of their resources in growth and reproduction. If plants live in hostile environments and are attacked by harmful microbes or insects, they activate inducible defence mechanisms. Activation of these defences is often costly, due to allocation of limited resources to defensive compounds, or toxicity of the defence response to the plant’s own metabolism. Plants are also capable of acquiring a less costly form of resistance, which can be activated after perception of environmental alarm signals that sensitise the plant’s immune system. This “defence priming” results in a faster and/or stronger defence reaction when the plant is attacked at a later stage.
We have a long-standing interest in the mechanisms by which priming-inducing chemicals, such beta-aminobutyric acid (BABA), are perceived in plants and trigger immune priming. This research has led to the discovery of the BABA receptor, which controls broad-spectrum disease resistance and plant growth via separate signalling pathways (Luna et al., 2014, Schwarzenbacher et al. 2020), and a novel structural analogue of BABA, R-beta-homoserine (RBH), which induces resistance in plants with fewer non-target effects on plant growth (Buswell et al. 2018).
The lab also investigates the epi-genetic basis of immune priming, which stems from our earlier discovery that heavily diseased Arabidopsis plants prime the immune systems of their progeny (Luna et al., 2012). Current research aims to gain a better mechanistic understanding about the role of DNA methylation in long-term immune priming, including transgenerational induced resistance (Lopez, Stassen et al., 2016, Stassen et al. 2018, Furci et al. 2019).
A third research component focuses on the function of root exudation chemistry in shaping disease suppressive microbial soil communities (Rolfe et al. 2019). This research examines the role of secondary metabolites in shaping the composition and disease-suppressive activities of root-associated microbial communities (Neal et al., 2012, Pétriacq et al. 2017, Cotton et al. 2019).
Across all these themes, we collaborate with agritech companies, such as ENZA Zaden, to translate our basic research and optimise crop protection through biological, chemical, and epigenetic strategies that boost the plant's own natural defences.
For more detailed information about current research activities in the lab, please visit: http://tonlab.wordpress.com/
- Epigenetics: a catalyst of plant immunity against pathogens.. New Phytol.
- The rise, fall and resurrection of chemical‐induced resistance agents. Pest Management Science. View this article in WRRO
- Costs and benefits of transgenerational induced resistance in arabidopsis. Frontiers in Plant Science, 12. View this article in WRRO
- The induced resistance lexicon: do’s and don’ts. Trends in Plant Science. View this article in WRRO
- Methylation moulds microbiomes. Nature Plants, 6(8), 910-911.
- The IBI1 receptor of β-aminobutyric acid interacts with VOZ transcription factors to regulate abscisic acid signaling and callose-associated defense. Molecular Plant.
- Spodoptera frugiperda caterpillars suppress herbivore-induced volatile emissions in maize. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 46(3), 344-360.
- Crying out for help with root exudates : adaptive mechanisms by which stressed plants assemble health-promoting soil microbiomes. Current Opinion in Microbiology, 49, 73-82. View this article in WRRO
- Surviving in a hostile world : plant strategies to resist pests and diseases. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 57(1), 505-529. View this article in WRRO
- Metabolic regulation of the maize rhizobiome by benzoxazinoids. The ISME Journal, 13, 1647-1658. View this article in WRRO
- An Adjustable Protocol to Analyze Chemical Profiles of Non-sterile Rhizosphere Soil. BIO-PROTOCOL, 9(10).
- Bacterial infection systemically suppresses stomatal density. Plant Cell & Environment. View this article in WRRO
- Identification and characterisation of hypomethylated DNA loci controlling quantitative resistance in Arabidopsis.. eLife, 8. View this article in WRRO
- The relationship between transgenerational acquired resistance and global DNA methylation in Arabidopsis. Scientific Reports, 8(1). View this article in WRRO
- Impacts of Atmospheric CO2 and Soil Nutritional Value on Plant Responses to Rhizosphere Colonization by Soil Bacteria. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9. View this article in WRRO
- Publisher Correction: Farming with crops and rocks to address global climate, food and soil security. Nature Plants, 4(6), 392-392.
- Chemical Priming of Immunity without Costs to Plant Growth.. New Phytologist, 218(3), 1205-1216. View this article in WRRO
- Mechanisms of glacial-to-future atmospheric CO2 effects on plant immunity. New Phytologist, 218(2), 752-761. View this article in WRRO
- Farming with crops and rocks to address global climate, food and soil security. Nature Plants, 4, 138-147. View this article in WRRO
- Why rational argument fails the genetic modification (GM) debate. Food Security, 10(5), 1145-1161. View this article in WRRO
- The interactive effects of arbuscular mycorrhiza and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria synergistically enhance host plant defences against pathogen. Scientific Reports, 7(1). View this article in WRRO
- Metabolite profiling of non-sterile rhizosphere soil. The Plant Journal, 92(1), 147-162. View this article in WRRO
- Prospects for plant defence activators and biocontrol in IPM – Concepts and lessons learnt so far. Crop Protection, 97, 128-134. View this article in WRRO
- An agenda for integrated system-wide interdisciplinary agri-food research. Food Security, 9(2), 195-210. View this article in WRRO
- The role of DNA (de)methylation in immune responsiveness of Arabidopsis. Plant Journal, 88(3), 361-374. View this article in WRRO
- NAD Acts as an Integral Regulator of Multiple Defense Layers. Plant Physiology, 172(3), 1465-1479. View this article in WRRO
- Recognizing Plant Defense Priming. Trends in Plant Science. View this article in WRRO
- Spore Density Determines Infection Strategy by the Plant Pathogenic Fungus Plectosphaerella cucumerina. Plant Physiology, 170(4), 2325-2339.
- Optimizing Chemically Induced Resistance in Tomato Against Botrytis cinerea. PLANT DISEASE, 100(4), 704-710.
- Indole is an essential herbivore-induced volatile priming signal in maize. Nature Communications, 6. View this article in WRRO
- Role of NPR1 and KYP in long-lasting induced resistance by β-aminobutyric acid.. Front Plant Sci, 5, 184. View this article in WRRO
- Plant perception of β-aminobutyric acid is mediated by an aspartyl-tRNA synthetase.. Nat Chem Biol, 10(6), 450-456. View this article in WRRO
- The discovery of the BABA receptor: scientific implications and application potential.. Front Plant Sci, 5, 304. View this article in WRRO
- Volatiles produced by soil-borne endophytic bacteria increase plant pathogen resistance and affect tritrophic interactions.. Plant Cell Environ, 37(4), 813-826.
- Fine Tuning of Reactive Oxygen Species Homeostasis Regulates Primed Immune Responses in Arabidopsis. MOLECULAR PLANT-MICROBE INTERACTIONS, 26(11), 1334-1344.
- Mycorrhiza-induced resistance: more than the sum of its parts?. Trends Plant Sci, 18(10), 539-545. View this article in WRRO
- Primed plants do not forget. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 94, 46-56.
- Systemic defense priming by Pseudomonas putida KT2440 in maize depends on benzoxazinoid exudation from the roots.. Plant Signal Behav, 8(1), e22655.
- The epigenetic machinery controlling transgenerational systemic acquired resistance.. Plant Signal Behav, 7(6), 615-618.
- Benzoxazinoids in Root Exudates of Maize Attract Pseudomonas putida to the Rhizosphere. PLoS ONE, 7(4). View this article in WRRO
- Next-generation systemic acquired resistance.. Plant Physiol, 158(2), 844-853.
- Primed plants do not forget. Environmental and Experimental Botany.
- Behavioral responses of the leafhopper, Cicadulina storeyi China, a major vector of maize streak virus, to volatile cues from intact and leafhopper-damaged maize. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 37(1), 40-48.
- Benzoxazinoid Metabolites Regulate Innate Immunity against Aphids and Fungi in Maize. Plant physiology, 157, 317-327.
- Callose deposition: a multifaceted plant defense response. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 24, 183-193.
- Genetic dissection of basal defence responsiveness in accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana, 34, 1191-1206.
- Natural variation in priming of basal resistance: from evolutionary origin to agricultural exploitation, 11, 817-827.
- Constitutive salicylic acid defences do not compromise seed yield, drought tolerance and water productivity in the Arabidopsis accession C24.
- The transcriptome of cis-jasmone-induced resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana and its role in indirect defence. Planta, 232, 1163-1180.
- Signal signature of aboveground-induced resistance upon belowground herbivory in maize. Plant Journal, 59(2), 292-302.
- Belowground ABA boosts aboveground production of DIMBOA and primes induction of chlorogenic acid in maize. Plant Signaling and Behavior, 4(7), 636-638.
- Priming of plant innate immunity by rhizobacteria and beta-aminobutyric acid: differences and similarities in regulation, 183, 419-431.
- Natural variation in defence responsiveness amongst Arabidopsis acessions, 74, 801-807.
- The multifaceted role of ABA in disease resistance, 14, 310-317.
- Interactions between arthropod-induced aboveground and belowground defenses in plants, 146, 867-874.
- Interplay between JA, SA and ABA signalling during basal and induced resistance against Pseudomonas syringae and Alternaria brassicicola, 54, 81-92.
- Long-distance signalling in plant defence, 13, 264-272.
- MYB72 is required in early signaling steps of rhizobacteria-induced systemic resistance in Arabidopsis, 146, 1293-1304.
- DEFENSE PRIMING IN PLANTS.
- Biotic interactions. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 10(4), 331-334.
- Priming by airborne signals boosts direct and indirect resistance in maize, 49, 16-26.
- Fungal infection reduces herbivore-induced plant volatiles of maize but does not affect naive parasitoids, 32, 1897-1909.
- Priming: getting ready for battle, 19, 1062-1071.
- Exploiting scents of distress: the prospect of manipulating herbivore-induced plant odours to enhance the control of agricultural pests. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 9, 421-427.
- Costs and benefits of priming for defense in Arabidopsis, 103, 5602-5607.
- Abscisic acid and callose: Team players in defence against pathogens?, 153, 377-383.
- Enhancing Arabidopsis salt and drought stress tolerance by chemical priming for its abscisic acid responses, 139, 267-274.
- Dissecting the beta-aminobutyric acid-induced priming phenomenon in Arabidopsis, 17, 987-999.
- Beta-amino-butyric acid-induced resistance against necrotrophic pathogens is based on ABA-dependent priming for callose. The Plant Journal, 38, 119-130.
- Induced systemic resistance by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria. Symbiosis, 35, 39-54.
- Characterization of Arabidopsis enhanced disease susceptibility mutants that are affected in systemically induced resistance, 29, 11-21.
- Differential effectiveness of salicylate-dependent and jasmonate/ethylene-dependent induced resistance in Arabidopsis, 15, 27-34.
- The Arabidopsis ISR1 locus is required for rhizobacteria-mediated induced systemic resistance against different pathogens. Plant Biol., 4, 224-227.
- Signalling in rhizobacteria-induced systemic resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Biol., 4, 535-544.
- Heritability of rhizobacteria-mediated induced systemic resistance and basal resistance in arabidopsis. Eur J Plant Pathol, 107, 63-68.
- The arabidopsis ISR1 locus controlling rhizobacteria-mediated induced systemic resistance is involved in ethylene signaling, 125, 652-661.
- Rhizobacteria-mediated induced systemic resistance: triggering, signalling and expression. Eur. J. Plant Pathol., 107, 51-61.
- Cross-talk between plant defence signalling pathways: boost or burden?. AgBiotechNet, 3, ABN-068.
- Rhizobacteria-mediated induced systemic resistance (ISR) in Arabidopsis requires sensitivity to jasmonate and ethylene but is not accompanied by an increase in their production. Physiol. Mol. Plant Pathol., 57, 123-134.
- Identification of a locus in arabidopsis controlling both the expression of rhizobacteria-mediated induced systemic resistance (ISR) and basal resistance against Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, 12, 911-918.
- Identification of a locus in Arabidopsis controlling both the expression of rhizobacteria-mediated induced systemic resistance (ISR) and basal resistance against Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 12, 911-918.
- Phloem: the integrative avenue for resource distribution, signaling, and defense. Frontiers in Plant Science, 4.
- Long-lasting memory of jasmonic acid-dependent immunity requires DNA demethylation and ARGONAUTE1.
- Plant Defense Signaling from the Underground Primes Aboveground Defenses to Confer Enhanced Resistance in a Cost-Efficient Manner, Plant Communication from an Ecological Perspective (pp. 43-60). Springer Berlin Heidelberg
- Systemic Resistance Induction by vascular and airborne signalling. In Lüttge UE, Beyschlag W, Büdel B & Francis D (Ed.), Progress in Botany 71 (pp. 279-306). Springer
- The role of abscisic acid in disease resistance. In Yoshioka K & Shinozaki K (Ed.), Signal Cross Talk in Plant Stress Responses (pp. 1-22). Wiley Blackwell
- The relationship between basal and induced resistance in Arabidopsis. In Bent E & Tuzun S (Ed.), Multigenic and Induced Systemic Resistance in Plants (pp. 197-224). Springer
- Rhizobacteria-mediated induced systemic resistance (ISR) in Arabidopsis: involvement of jasmonate and ethylene In Bisseling T, Stiekema WJ, Dewitt P & Witt PJGM (Ed.), Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions (pp. 291-296). St. Paul, MN: The International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions.
- Genetic analysis of induced systemic resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana: association between induced and basal resistance In Duffy BK, Rosenberger U & Défago G (Ed.), Molecular Approaches to Biological Control (pp. 111-115).
- Induced Resistance - Orchestrating Defence Mechanisms through Crosstalk and Priming (pp. 334-370). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
- How do Beneficial Microbes Induce Systemic Resistance?, Induced Resistance for Plant Defense (pp. 232-248). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
- Induced Resistance– Orchestrating Defence Mechanisms through Crosstalk and Priming, Molecular Aspects of Plant Disease Resistance (pp. 334-370). Wiley-Blackwell
- Elucidating Pathways Controlling Induced Resistance, Chemistry of Crop Protection (pp. 99-109). Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
Conference proceedings papers
- Long-lasting priming by β-aminobutyric acid is marked by de novo DNA hypomethylation. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, Vol. 32(10S) (pp S1.203-S1.203). Glasgow, Scotland, 14 July 2019 - 18 July 2019. View this article in WRRO
- Phenomics for plant quantitative disease resistance. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, Vol. 32(10S) (pp 26-26). Glasgow, Scotland, 14 July 2019 - 18 July 2019. View this article in WRRO
- Assessing the costs and benefits of chemical defence priming agents using emerging hyperspectral imaging technologies. Molecular plant-microbe interactions, Vol. 32(10) (pp S1.32-S1.32). Glasgow, Scotland, 14 July 2019 - 18 July 2019. View this article in WRRO
- The emerging case for epigenetic regulation of plant immunity. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, Vol. 32(10) (pp S1.17-S1.17). Glasgow, Scotland, 14 July 2019 - 18 July 2019. View this article in WRRO
- Onset and maintenance of plant immune priming. FEBS Open Bio, Vol. 8(Suppl 1) (pp 16-16) View this article in WRRO
Theses / Dissertations
- Research group
Research fellows and postdoctoral workers
- Dr. Roland Schwarzenbacher
- Dr. Mamadou Cissoko
- David Pardo
- Peijun Zhang
- Adam Parker
- Chi-Nan Tao
- Mustafa Yassin
- Emma Moffat
- Dave Rapley
- Roberta Fabrizi
- Samuel Wilkinson
- Dr. Joost Stassen, The Netherlands.
- Dr. Leonardo Furci, Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology. Japan.
- Dr. Alex Williams, University of Manchester, UK.
- Dr. Will Buswell, BPP University, London.
- Dr. Rituhree Jain, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
- Dr. Estrella Luna, University of Birmingham, UK.
- Dr. Pierre Pétriacq, University of Bordeaux, France.
- Dr. Ana Lopez, CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain.
- Dr. Shakoor Ahmad, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Pakistan
- Dr. Yuhua Zhang, Guilin Layn Natural Ingredients Corporation, Shanghai, China
- Dr. Marieke van Hulten, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Dr. Sjoerd van der Ent, Koppert Biological Systems, The Netherlands
- Teaching activities
- APS 135 - Skills for Biologists and level 1 tutorials
- APS 138 - Molecular and Cell Biology
- APS 222 - Level 2 tutorials
- APS 276 - Symbiosis
- APS 216 - Plant, Cell & Environment
- APS 355 - Future Plants
- APS 330 - Level 3 Research Projects
- APS 331 - Level 3 Dissertations
- Research projects by MBiolSci, MRes and PhD students
- Professional activities
- Monitoring editor of Plant Physiology (2012-present)
- Dr. Stephen Rolfe, APS
- Dr. Christian Voigt, APS
- Prof. Julie Scholes, APS
- Prof. Julie Gray, MBB
- Dr. Lisa Smith, APS
- Dr. Stuart Campbell, APS
- Prof. Jonathan Leake, APS
- Dr. Vincent Cunliffe, BMS
- Prof. Duncan Cameron
- Prof. David Baulcombe, University of Cambridge, UK
- Prof. Georg Jander, Cornell University, UK
- Prof. Cathie Martin. JIC, Norwich
- Dr. Mike Roberts, University of Lancaster, UK
- Dr. Oliver Berkowitz, Murdoch University, Australia
- Prof. Vincent Colot, INRA, France
- Dr. Paal Krokene and Dr. Melissa Megeroy, NIBIO, Norway
- Dr. Matthias Erb, Univeristy of Bern, Switzerland
- Dr. Victor Flors, University of Jaume I, Spain
- Prof. Corné Pieterse, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
- Dr. Karin Posthuma, ENZA Seeds, Enkuizen, The Netherlands