The mechanics of disease defense in higher plants are poorly understood relative to the dramatic recent advances that have occurred in vertebrate 447 0066-4197/90/12 15-0447$02.00 KEEN immunology. However, there are clear similarities between the defense stratÂ egies employed by plants and vertebrates. Active defense mechanisms occur in both groups of organisms that are invoked only following pathogen infecÂ tion. In vertebrates this generally entails the various immune systems and in higher plants the hypersensitive response (HR). The recognitional systems modulating these active defense systems also have common features. Thus, the recognition of specific antigens in vertebrates is paralleled in plants by the recognition of analogous molecules of pathogen origin, called elicitors. In both cases the initial recognition events set off complex cascades of defense responses that executionally account for restriction of further pathogen deÂ velopment. These biochemical responses are very different in plants and animals, but the triggering mechanisms have much in common. In this review I consider recent progress in understanding plant recognition of pathogens leading to disease resistance, particularly where resistance is controlled by single complementary genes in the plant and pathogen. A mechanistic unÂ derstanding of this gene-for-gene complementarity promises considerable insight into the basis
Annual Review of Genetics – Annual Reviews
Published: Dec 1, 1990
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