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C R Acad Sci III. 1998 Sep;321(9):721-34.

The hypersensitive response. A programmed cell death associated with plant resistance.

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  • 1Laboratoire de biologie molĂ©culaire des relations plantes-microorganismes, UMR CNRS/Inra 215, Castanet-Tolosan, France.


In plants, the hypersensitive response (HR) is defined as a rapid cell death occurring in response to pathogen attack, and is closely related to active resistance. Initiation of the HR process begins with the recognition of the pathogen by the plant, which is mediated mainly by the pathogen avirulence genes and the plant resistance genes. Then, complex signal transduction pathways intervene, involving changes in protein phosphorylation, production of reactive oxygen species and modification of ion fluxes. Components required for the regulation of the HR cell death are now being identified genetically by the isolation of mutants, in contrast to those involved in the execution of the cell death programme, which are still largely unknown. Further genetic and biochemical analyses will undoubtedly answer the question as to whether this form of programmed cell death (PCD) can be compared with other forms of PCD in plants and with apoptosis in animals.

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