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Trends Plant Sci. 2013 Oct;18(10):546-54. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2013.05.005. Epub 2013 Jun 18.

Susceptibility to plant disease: more than a failure of host immunity.

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Plant-Microbe Interactions, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Susceptibility to infectious diseases caused by pathogens affects most plants in their natural habitat and leads to yield losses in agriculture. However, plants are not helpless because their immune system can deal with the vast majority of attackers. Nevertheless, adapted pathogens are able to circumvent or avert host immunity making plants susceptible to these uninvited guests. In addition to the failure of the plant immune system, there are other host processes that contribute to plant disease susceptibility. In this review, we discuss recent studies that show the active role played by the host in supporting disease, focusing mainly on biotrophic stages of infection. Plants attract pathogens, enable their entry and accommodation, and facilitate nutrient provision.


biotrophic pathogens; disease susceptibility

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