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Plant pathogens and integrated defence responses to infection

Abstract

Plants cannot move to escape environmental challenges. Biotic stresses result from a battery of potential pathogens: fungi, bacteria, nematodes and insects intercept the photosynthate produced by plants, and viruses use replication machinery at the host's expense. Plants, in turn, have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to perceive such attacks, and to translate that perception into an adaptive response. Here, we review the current knowledge of recognition-dependent disease resistance in plants. We include a few crucial concepts to compare and contrast plant innate immunity with that more commonly associated with animals. There are appreciable differences, but also surprising parallels.

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Figure 1: Representation of the location and structure of the five main classes of plant disease resistance proteins.
Figure 2: Comparison of R proteins with proteins involved in cell death in animal cells.
Figure 3: Comparison of R proteins with proteins involved in animal innate immunity.
Figure 4: R-gene monoculture and R-gene polycultures.
Figure 5: The guard hypothesis for R-protein function.

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Acknowledgements

Work in the Dangl laboratory is supported by grants from the NSF, NIH, DOE, USDA-NRI and Syngenta. The Jones laboratory is supported by the Gatsby Charitable Trust and the BBSRC. We thank P. Epple, T. Eulgem, J. McDowell, S. Peck, J. Rathjen and B. Staskawicz for critical reading of this manuscript, and G. Nuñez and D. Golenbock for useful suggestions.

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Dangl, J., Jones, J. Plant pathogens and integrated defence responses to infection. Nature 411, 826–833 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1038/35081161

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