Plant Defences Against Fungal Attack: Perception and Signal Transduction

Abstract

Phytopathogenic fungi cause over 75% of all plant diseases. Plants perceive these invaders as ‘nonself ’ via race‐specific/nonspecific factors and surmount physical and chemical responses to counter the invasion. Race‐specific recognition is generally followed by the rapid and massive induction of many of these responses resulting in resistance.

Keywords: plant defence; fungal resistance; R gene signalling; plant–fungus interaction; innate immunity

Figure 1.

Growth of Hyalopernospora parasitica on resistant (R) and susceptible (S) Arabidopsis thaliana hosts. Upper panel shows prolific growth of fungal mycelia on the susceptible ecotype Nössen (right) as opposed to the resistant ecotype Di‐17 (left). Lower panel shows trypan blue stained leaves exhibiting mycelial growth and sporulation in the susceptible but not in the resistant ecotype. (Courtesy Dr. Pradeep Kachroo.)

Figure 2.

Schematic representation of crosstalk between the SA‐, JA‐ and ET‐mediated defence signalling pathways. The figure gives a simplified overview of the various molecular components involved in defence signalling pathways activated by the three hormones SA, JA and ET. Solid lines with arrows indicate activation, while dotted lines with bars indicate repression of downstream events. Molecular components are abbreviated as TF‐transcription factor, FA‐ 18:1 fatty acid, MAPK‐mitogen activated protein kinase, MAPKKK‐ MAPK kinase kinase, WRKY‐WRKY proteins and SCF‐ubiquitin/proteosome complex. Factors that participate in more than one pathway are indicated in grey.

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Further Reading

Glazebrook J (2005) Contrasting mechanisms of defense against biotrophic and necrotrophic pathogens. Annual Review of Phytopathology 43: 205–227.

Ingle RA, Carstens M and Denby K (2006) PAMP recognition and the plant–pathogen arms race. BioEssays 28: 880–889.

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Kachroo, Aardra(Jul 2007) Plant Defences Against Fungal Attack: Perception and Signal Transduction. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0003438.pub2]