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Research Project: Resources for the Genetic Improvement of Potato

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

Title: A review of the latest concepts in molecular plant pathology and applications to potato breeding

item Halterman, Dennis

Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/18/2016
Publication Date: 6/1/2017
Citation: Halterman, D.A. 2017. A review of the latest concepts in molecular plant pathology and applications to potato breeding. American Journal of Potato Research. 94(3):211-250. doi: 10.1007/s12230-017-9581-5.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Co-evolution between pathogens and plants has led to the development of a range of constitutive and inducible resistance mechanisms that help plants survive pathogen attack. Different models have been proposed to describe the plant immune system. The most popular current model indicates that plants have a two-tiered defense system. The first layer of defense includes the recognition of certain nonspecific pathogen byproducts (such as fungal chitin and bacterial flagellin or EFTu proteins). The second layer of plant defense relies on the function of resistance (R) proteins that recognize specific pathogen molecules, termed effectors. Upon recognition, effector triggered immunity (ETI) is activated. Both protein and RNA molecules have been found to serve as effectors. Some effectors are able to interfere with ETI through diverse strategies, enabling host colonization and leading to disease even when R genes are present. This back and forth battle demonstrates a co-evolutionary arms race between plants and pathogens. For this reason, as pathogen populations change due to environmental or host genetic variations, we must continually identify new sources of resistance. The purpose of this talk is to review the most recent concepts surrounding the molecular interaction between hosts and pathogens, and call attention to potential new approaches for disease resistance breeding.