Systemic acquired resistance (SAR), a type of long-distance immunity in plants, provides long-lasting resistance to a broad spectrum of pathogens. SAR is thought to involve the rapid generation and systemic transport of a mobile signal that prepares systemic parts of the plant to better resist future infections. Exploration of the molecular mechanisms underlying SAR have identified multiple mobile regulators of SAR in the last few decades. Examination of the relationship among several of these seemingly unrelated molecules depicts a forked pathway comprising at least two branches of equal importance to SAR. One branch is regulated by the plant hormone salicylic acid (SA), and the other culminates (based on current knowledge) with the phosphorylated sugar derivative, glycerol-3-phosphate (G3P). This review summarizes the activities that contribute to pathogen-responsive generation of SA and G3P and the components that regulate their systemic transport during SAR.

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