Front Plant Sci. 2022 Oct 20;13:883970. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2022.883970. eCollection 2022.
Complete and balanced nutrition has always been the first line of plant defense due to the direct involvement of mineral elements in plant protection. Mineral elements affect plant health directly by modulating the activity of redox enzymes or improving the plant vigor indirectly by altering root exudates, and changing microflora population dynamics, rhizosphere soil nutrient content, pH fluctuation, lignin deposition, and phytoalexin biosynthesis. Nitrogen (N) is one of the most important macronutrients having a significant impact on the host-pathogen axis. N negatively affects the plant’s physical defense along with the production of antimicrobial compounds, but it significantly alleviates defense-related enzyme levels that can eventually assist in systemic resistance. Potassium (K) is an essential plant nutrient, when it is present in adequate concentration, it can certainly increase the plant’s polyphenolic concentrations, which play a critical role in the defense mechanism. Although no distinguished role of phosphorus (P) is observed in plant disease resistance, a high P content may increase the plant’s susceptibility toward the invader. Manganese (Mn) is one of the most important micronutrients, which have a vital effect on photosynthesis, lignin biosynthesis, and other plant metabolic functions. Zinc (Zn) is a part of enzymes that are involved in auxin synthesis, infectivity, phytotoxin, and mycotoxin production in pathogenic microorganisms. Similarly, many other nutrients also have variable effects on enhancing or decreasing the host susceptibility toward disease onset and progression, thereby making integrative plant nutrition an indispensable component of sustainable agriculture. However, there are still many factors influencing the triple interaction of host-pathogen-mineral elements, which are not yet unraveled. Thereby, the present review has summarized the recent progress regarding the use of macro- and micronutrients in sustainable agriculture and their role in plant disease resistance.