Protein-protein interactions have emerged as key determinants of whether plant encounters with pathogens result in disease or successful plant defense. Genetic interactions between plant resistance genes and pathogen avirulence genes enable pathogen recognition by plants and activate plant defense. These gene-for-gene interactions in some cases have been shown to involve direct interactions of the products of the genes, and have indicated plant intracellular localization for certain avirulence proteins. Incomplete specificity of some of the interactions in laboratory assays suggests that additional proteins might be required to confer specificity in the plant. In many cases, resistance and avirulence protein interactions have not been demonstrable, and in some cases, other plant components that interact with avirulence proteins have been found. Investigation to date has relied heavily on biochemical and cytological methods including in vitrobinding assays and immunoprecipitation, as well as genetic tools such as the yeast two-hybrid system. Observations so far, however, point to the likely requirement for multiple, interdependent protein associations in pathogen recognition, for which these techniques can be insufficient. This article reviews the protein-protein interactions that have been described in pathogen recognition by plants, and provides examples of how rapid future progress will hinge on the adoption of new and developing technologies.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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