MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF DISEASE RESISTANCE: FROM GENETIC UNDERSTANDING TO CONTROL
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Classical plant breeding for disease resistance continues to be one of the most effective methods for the control of plant pathogens. A revolution in our understanding of the molecular basis of disease resistance has occurred during the past 5 years as several genetically characterized disease resistance loci for the major classes of plant pathogens have now been cloned and characterized. A review of our current state of knowledge of the cloning and characterization of disease resistance genes will be presented. Work in my laboratory and from other laboratories will also be used to provide specific examples of current approaches that are being employed to genetically and biochemically dissect plant disease resistance pathways. The impact of plant genomics will also be considered in the light of recent advances in the Arabidopsis genome project and what effect this will have on the future of plant disease resistance research. Finally, consideration will be given as to how genetic engineering for plant disease resistance will affect future strategies for disease control.