PerspectivePlant Science

Caught in the jump

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Science  07 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6346, pp. 31-32
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan8287

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Microbial pathogens of plants typically cause disease on a limited number of host species. In nature, pathogens rarely become pathogenic to a new host. The underlying mechanisms of such host jumps are poorly understood but are thought to be linked to the capacity of the pathogen to undermine immunity of the former nonhost species (1). On page 80 of this issue, Inoue et al. (2) report a host jump mechanism of a notorious pathogenic fungus, Pyricularia oryzae, which causes blast disease in cereals.