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Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2015;53:445-70. doi: 10.1146/annurev-phyto-080614-115928. Epub 2015 Jun 5.

Quantitative resistance to biotrophic filamentous plant pathogens: concepts, misconceptions, and mechanisms.

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Laboratory of Plant Breeding, Wageningen University and Research Centre, 6700 AJ Wageningen, The Netherlands; email:


Quantitative resistance (QR) refers to a resistance that is phenotypically incomplete and is based on the joined effect of several genes, each contributing quantitatively to the level of plant defense. Often, QR remains durably effective, which is the primary driver behind the interest in it. The various terms that are used to refer to QR, such as field resistance, adult plant resistance, and basal resistance, reflect the many properties attributed to it. In this article, we discuss aspects connected to those attributions, in particular the hypothesis that much of the QR to biotrophic filamentous pathogens is basal resistance, i.e., poor suppression of PAMP-triggered defense by effectors. We discuss what role effectors play in suppressing defense or improving access to nutrients. Based on the functions of the few plant proteins identified as involved in QR, vesicle trafficking and protein/metabolite transportation are likely to be common physiological processes relevant to QR.


basal resistance; durability; effector targets; mechanisms; partial resistance

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