Submitted to: The Powdery Mildews A Comprehensive Treatise
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 30, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: This chapter provides an overview of the characteristics of powdery mildew- plant systems that put them in a competitive, and often a leading role, in the context of present and future research on host-parasite interaction. What part has powdery mildew played in the past and what are the prospects for a continued leading role? The chapter focuses largely on the much investigated powdery mildews of cereals (barley, oat and wheat) with some inputs from mildews of dicotyledonous plants such as cucumber, pea, and, increasingly, Arabidopsis. Topics include factors favoring research in powdery mildew-plant interactions (including the separation of mildewed epidermis from leaves for experimental purposes), factors that affect primary infection rates (especially in experimental systems), the broad diversity of available plant-mildew combinations which give a wide range in types of resistance for investigation, and the advantages of powdery mildew wfor investigating compatible host-parasite combinations. The chapter point out that economic impact of powdery mildews drives research at all levels, including the need to understand the basis of host-parasite interaction in both resistant and susceptible plants. Clearly, there is an economic need to understand the remarkable ability of powdery mildew fungi to feed at the expense of host plants. Concomitantly, there is a need to understand and improve mechanisms of disease resistance. The chapter reviews the main trends in research on mildew-plant interactions in the past and discusses principle trends for the future.