Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Molecular Biology of Host/pathogen Interactions in Harvested Horticulture Crops

Author
item McCollum, Thomas

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 2001
Publication Date: June 1, 2002

Interpretive Summary: Decay caused by fungal plant pathogens leads to significant postharvest losses of fresh fruits and vegetables. Traditionally, application of fungicides has been used to reduce these losses, however, the availability and use of fungicides in the future will certainly diminish due to public health concerns as well as increased regulatory constraints. The loss of fungicides necessitates that alternative strategies be developed to reduce postharvest losses due to decay. Freedom from decay is the norm rather than the exception because plants are inherently resistant to fungal infection. Disease only results when the plant's defense mechanisms are compromised. If we can develop an understanding of how plants resist decay and how to maintain the natural mechanisms of resistance we will be able to develop alternative strategies for decay control based on these mechanisms. This article reviews recent research that has used molecular biological techniques to determine how the interaction of host and pathogen can lead to either resistance or disease.

Technical Abstract: Decay caused by fungal plant pathogens leads to significant postharvest losses of fresh fruits and vegetables. Traditionally, application of fungicides has been used to reduce these losses, however, the availability and use of fungicides in the future will certainly diminish due to public health concerns as well as increased regulatory constraints. The loss of fungicides necessitates that alternative strategies be developed to reduce postharvest losses due to decay. Freedom from decay is the norm rather than the exception because plants are inherently resistant to fungal infection. Disease only results when the plant's defense mechanisms are compromised. If we can develop an understanding of how plants resist decay and how to maintain the natural mechanisms of resistance we will be able to develop alternative strategies for decay control based on these mechanisms. This article reviews recent research that has used molecular biological techniques to determine how the interaction of host and pathogen can lead to either resistance or disease.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page