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      Colletotrichum higginsianum as a Model for Understanding Host–Pathogen Interactions: A Review

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          Colletotrichum higginsianum is a hemibiotrophic ascomycetous fungus that causes economically important anthracnose diseases on numerous monocot and dicot crops worldwide. As a model pathosystem, the Colletotrichum–Arabidopsis interaction has the significant advantage that both organisms can be manipulated genetically. The goal of this review is to provide an overview of the system and to point out recent significant studies that update our understanding of the pathogenesis of C. higginsianum and resistance mechanisms of Arabidopsis against this hemibiotrophic fungus. The genome sequence of C. higginsianum has provided insights into how genome structure and pathogen genetic variability has been shaped by transposable elements, and allows systematic approaches to longstanding areas of investigation, including infection structure differentiation and fungal–plant interactions. The Arabidopsis-Colletotrichum pathosystem provides an integrated system, with extensive information on the host plant and availability of genomes for both partners, to illustrate many of the important concepts governing fungal–plant interactions, and to serve as an excellent starting point for broad perspectives into issues in plant pathology.

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          The plant immune system.

          Many plant-associated microbes are pathogens that impair plant growth and reproduction. Plants respond to infection using a two-branched innate immune system. The first branch recognizes and responds to molecules common to many classes of microbes, including non-pathogens. The second responds to pathogen virulence factors, either directly or through their effects on host targets. These plant immune systems, and the pathogen molecules to which they respond, provide extraordinary insights into molecular recognition, cell biology and evolution across biological kingdoms. A detailed understanding of plant immune function will underpin crop improvement for food, fibre and biofuels production.
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            Plant immunity: towards an integrated view of plant-pathogen interactions.

            Plants are engaged in a continuous co-evolutionary struggle for dominance with their pathogens. The outcomes of these interactions are of particular importance to human activities, as they can have dramatic effects on agricultural systems. The recent convergence of molecular studies of plant immunity and pathogen infection strategies is revealing an integrated picture of the plant-pathogen interaction from the perspective of both organisms. Plants have an amazing capacity to recognize pathogens through strategies involving both conserved and variable pathogen elicitors, and pathogens manipulate the defence response through secretion of virulence effector molecules. These insights suggest novel biotechnological approaches to crop protection.
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              Host-microbe interactions: shaping the evolution of the plant immune response.

              The evolution of the plant immune response has culminated in a highly effective defense system that is able to resist potential attack by microbial pathogens. The primary immune response is referred to as PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI) and has evolved to recognize common features of microbial pathogens. In the coevolution of host-microbe interactions, pathogens acquired the ability to deliver effector proteins to the plant cell to suppress PTI, allowing pathogen growth and disease. In response to the delivery of pathogen effector proteins, plants acquired surveillance proteins (R proteins) to either directly or indirectly monitor the presence of the pathogen effector proteins. In this review, taking an evolutionary perspective, we highlight important discoveries over the last decade about the plant immune response.

                Author and article information

                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                23 July 2018
                July 2018
                : 19
                : 7
                [1 ]The Key Lab of Plant Pathology of Hubei Province, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China; zkyyanyaqin@ (Y.Y.); yuanqf1989@ (Q.Y.); jintiantang@ (J.T.); junbinhuang@ (J.H.)
                [2 ]School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada; thsiang@
                [3 ]Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E2, Canada; yangdou.wei@
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: luzheng@ ; Tel.: +86-130-071-82619
                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



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