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Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2006;44:393-416.

The role of ethylene in host-pathogen interactions.

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  • 1Center of Microbial and Plant Genetics, Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 3001 Leuven, Belgium.


The phytohormone ethylene is a principal modulator in many aspects of plant life, including various mechanisms by which plants react to pathogen attack. Induced ethylene biosynthesis and subsequent intracellular signaling through a single conserved pathway have been well characterized. This leads to a cascade of transcription factors consisting of primary EIN3-like regulators and downstream ERF-like transcription factors. The latter control the expression of various effector genes involved in various aspects of systemic induced defense responses. Moreover, at this level significant cross-talk occurs with other defense response pathways controlled by salicylic acid and jasmonate, eventually resulting in a differentiated disease response.

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