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Mol Plant Pathol. 2006 Nov;7(6):605-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1364-3703.2006.00362.x.

mlo-based powdery mildew immunity: silver bullet or simply non-host resistance?

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Max-Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Department of Plant-Microbe Interactions, Carl-von-Linné-Weg 10, D-50829 Köln, Germany.


Durability and effectiveness against all genetic variants of a microbial species are hallmarks of so-called plant 'non-host' resistance. Highly effective immunity of monocotyledonous barley against the fungal powdery mildew pathogen, which is conferred by loss-of-function mutant alleles of the barley Mlo locus, likewise is a durable and broad-spectrum type of resistance. Although this was long considered as being a barley-specific phenomenon, recent findings indicate that mlo resistance can also occur in the distantly related dicotyledonous species Arabidopsis thaliana. Shared histological and phytopathological characteristics plus a conserved requirement for a set of genes in Arabidopsis mlo and non-host powdery mildew resistance indicate a potential common mechanism for these two seemingly distinct types of immunity.

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