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Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2009;47:63-82. doi: 10.1146/annurev-phyto-080508-081729.

Bacterial/Fungal interactions: from pathogens to mutualistic endosymbionts.

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Department of Plant Biology & Pathology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520, USA.


A fundamental issue in biology is the question of how bacteria initiate and maintain pathogenic relationships with eukaryotic hosts. Despite billions of years of coexistence, far less is known about bacterial/fungal interactions than the equivalent associations formed by either of these types of microorganisms with higher eukaryotes. This review highlights recent research advances in the field of bacterial/fungal interactions, and provides examples of the various forms such interactions may assume, ranging from simple antagonism and parasitism to more intimate associations of pathogenesis and endosymbiosis. Information derived from the associations of bacteria and fungi in the context of natural and agronomic ecosystems is emphasized, including interactions observed from biological control systems, endosymbiotic relationships, diseases of cultivated mushrooms, and model systems that expand our understanding of human disease. The benefits of studying these systems at the molecular level are also emphasized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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