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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2006 Nov;264(1):1-7.

Cereal rust fungi genomics and the pursuit of virulence and avirulence factors.

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USDA-APHIS-PPQ, Department of Plant Pathology, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.


Rust diseases cause significant reductions annually in yield of cereal crops worldwide. Traditional monoculture cropping systems apply significant selection pressure on the pathogen to cause rapid shifts in pathotypes. Plant breeders strive to stay ahead of the evolving pathogens by releasing new crop genotypes with new rust resistance genes or gene combinations. Owing to the limited number of known resistance genes and the lack of molecular understanding of the plant-pathogen interaction, rusts remain challenging organisms to study, both at organismal and molecular levels. This review discusses recent progress by a number of laboratories towards better understanding the molecular component of rust disease resistance.

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