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Ralph Hückelhoven published a new Humboldt review on plant immunity with Isabel Saur from MPI Cologne.

Recognition and defence of plant-infecting fungal pathogens.

J. Plant Physiol.

Isabel M. L. Saur,  Ralph Hückelhoven (2021)

Attempted infections of plants with fungi result in diverse outcomes ranging from symptom-less resistance to severe disease and even death of infected plants. The deleterious effect on crop yield have led to intense focus on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that explain the difference between resistance and susceptibility. This research has uncovered plant resistance or susceptibility genes that explain either dominant or recessive inheritance of plant resistance with many of them coding for receptors that recognize pathogen invasion. Approaches based on cell biology and phytochemistry have contributed to identifying factors that halt an invading fungal pathogen from further invasion into or between plant cells. Plant chemical defence compounds, antifungal proteins and structural reinforcement of cell walls appear to slow down fungal growth or even prevent fungal penetration in resistant plants. Additionally, the hypersensitive response, in which a few cells undergo a strong local immune reaction, including programmed cell death at the site of infection, stops in particular biotrophic fungi from spreading into surrounding tissue. In this review, we give a general overview of plant recognition and defence of fungal parasites tracing back to the early 20th century with a special focus on Triticeae and on the progress that was made in the last 30 years.