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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2008 Aug;11(4):420-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2008.05.002. Epub 2008 Jun 26.

Controlling hormone signaling is a plant and pathogen challenge for growth and survival.

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Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, CSIC, Campus Universidad Autónoma, Cantoblanco, E-28049 Madrid, Spain.


Plants and pathogens have continuously confronted each other during evolution in a battle for growth and survival. New advances in the field have provided fascinating insights into the mechanisms that have co-evolved to gain a competitive advantage in this battle. When plants encounter an invading pathogen, not only responses signaled by defense hormones are activated to restrict pathogen invasion, but also the modulation of additional hormone pathways is required to serve other purposes, which are equally important for plant survival, such as re-allocation of resources, control of cell death, regulation of water stress, and modification of plant architecture. Notably, pathogens can counteract both types of responses as a strategy to enhance virulence. Pathogens regulate production and signaling responses of plant hormones during infection, and also produce phytohormones themselves to modulate plant responses. These results indicate that hormone signaling is a relevant component in plant-pathogen interactions, and that the ability to dictate hormonal directionality is critical to the outcome of an interaction.

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