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Molecular Genetics of Plant Disease Resistance Brian J. Staskawicz,* Frederick M. Ausubel, Barbara J. Baker,
 

Summary: Molecular Genetics of Plant Disease Resistance
Brian J. Staskawicz,* Frederick M. Ausubel, Barbara J. Baker,
Jeffrey G. Ellis, Jonathan D. G. Jones
Plant breeders have used disease resistance genes (R genes) to control plant disease
since the turn of the century. Molecular cloning of R genes that enable plants to resist a
diverse range of pathogens has revealed that the proteins encoded by these genes have
several features in common. These findings suggest that plants may have evolved com-
mon signal transduction mechanisms for the expression of resistance to a wide range of
unrelated pathogens. Characterization of the molecular signals involved in pathogen
recognition and ofthe molecular events that specify the expression of resistance may lead
to novel strategies for plant disease control.
Plants, like animals, are continually ex-
posed to pathogen attack. Because plants
lack a circulatory system and antibodies,
they have evolved a defense mechanism
that is distinct from the vertebrate immune
system (1). In contrast to animal cells, each
plant cell is capable of defending itself by
means of a combination of constitutive and
induced defenses (2). Knowledge about the

  

Source: Ausubel, Frederick M. - Department of Genetics, Harvard University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine