Review: Mechanisms to mitigate the tradeoff between growth and defense ($)

It is widely recognized that defense incurs a cost in terms of reduced growth. Karasov et al. explore the nature of this tradeoff. They observe that rather than tradeoff being driven directly by metabolic competition, it appears to occur upstream through regulatory processes including antagonism between hormones. They describe situations in which the availability of nutrients or competition shifts the balance between growth and defense, and also forms of defense regulation that can minimize the negative impact on growth, including priming and transgenerational defense induction and the fine regulation of R gene expression. Finally, they discuss the role of other organisms including beneficial insects and the microbiome in low-cost defense strategies. They conclude by stressing the need for more field studies to explore growth-defense tradeoffs in “in a range of conditions, and in environments with other species.” Plant Cell 10.​1105/​tpc.​16.​00931