Immunity and starvation: new opportunities to elevate disease resistance in crops. uri icon

abstract

  • Plants use multiple mechanisms to defend themselves against invading microbes. Besides using their immune system to surveil and eliminate pathogens, plants actively block the pathogens' access to nutrients as an alternative way to prevent colonization. In this review, we focus on immunity and starvation as major obstacles for pathogens' adaptation. We summarize the key mechanisms employed by pathogens to modulate host immunity and to guarantee sugar uptake. In contrast to genes that deal with the immune system and show high levels of plasticity, pathogen genes involved in sugar acquisition are highly conserved, and may not have adapted to co-evolving interactions with the host. We propose a model to assess the durability of different control strategies based on the ability of pathogens to deal with host immunity or starvation. This analysis opens new opportunities to elevate disease resistance in crops by reducing the likelihood of pathogen adaptation.

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017
  • 2017