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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2000 Aug;3(4):291-8.

Prospects for understanding avirulence gene function.

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Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, 66506, USA.


Avirulence genes are originally defined by their negative impact on the ability of a pathogen to infect their host plant. Many avirulence genes are now known to represent a subset of virulence factors involved in the mediation of the host-pathogen interaction. Characterization of avirulence genes has revealed that they encode an amazing assortment of proteins and belong to several gene families. Although the biochemical functions of the avirulence gene products are unknown, studies are beginning to reveal the features and interesting relationships between the avirulence and virulence activities of the proteins. Identification of critical virulence factors and elucidation of their functions promises to provide insight into plant defense mechanisms, and new and improved strategies for the control of plant disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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