Insect egg deposition activates plant defence, but very little is known about signalling events that control this response. In Arabidopsis thaliana, oviposition by Pieris brassicae triggers salicylic acid (SA) accumulation and induces the expression of defence genes. This is similar to the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), which are involved in PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI). Here, the involvement of known signalling components of PTI in response to oviposition was studied. Treatment with P. brassicae egg extract caused a rapid induction of early PAMP-responsive genes. In addition, expression of the defence gene PR-1 required EDS1, SID2, and, partially, NPR1, thus implicating the SA pathway downstream of egg recognition. PR-1 expression was triggered by a non-polar fraction of egg extract and by an oxidative burst modulated through the antagonistic action of EDS1 and NUDT7, but which did not depend on the NADPH oxidases RBOHD and RBOHF. Searching for receptors of egg-derived elicitors, a receptor-like kinase mutant, lecRK-I.8, was identified which shows a much reduced induction of PR-1 in response to egg extract treatment. These results demonstrate the importance of the SA pathway in response to egg-derived elicitor(s) and unravel intriguing similarities between the detection of insect eggs and PTI in Arabidopsis.

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