Molecular genetics of plant disease resistance

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Science  05 May 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5211, pp. 661-667
DOI: 10.1126/science.7732374


Plant breeders have used disease resistance genes (R genes) to control plant disease since the turn of the century. Molecular cloning of R genes that enable plants to resist a diverse range of pathogens has revealed that the proteins encoded by these genes have several features in common. These findings suggest that plants may have evolved common signal transduction mechanisms for the expression of resistance to a wide range of unrelated pathogens. Characterization of the molecular signals involved in pathogen recognition and of the molecular events that specify the expression of resistance may lead to novel strategies for plant disease control.

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