Resistance to cereal rusts at the plant cell wall - what can we learn from other host-pathogen systems?

N.C. Collins, R.E. Niks, P. Schulze-Lefert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The ability of plant cells to resist invasion by pathogenic fungi at the cell periphery (pre-invasion resistance) differs from other types of resistance that are generally triggered after parasite entry and during differentiation of specialised intracellular feeding structures. Genetic sources of pre-invasion resistance such as mlo for barley powdery mildew and Lr34 for resistance to wheat leaf rust have proven to be broad-spectrum in effect and durable in the field. Continued breeding for this type of resistance (often quantitative in effect) is therefore considered an important strategy to protect cereal crops long-term against potentially devastating fungal diseases such as rusts. Considerable progress has been made in characterising genes and processes underlying pre-invasion resistance using mutant analysis, molecular genetics, gene cloning, and the model plant Arabidopsis, as well as comparative functional analysis of genes in Arabidopsis and cereals. This review summarises the current knowledge in this field, and discusses several aspects of pre-invasion resistance potentially pertinent to use in breeding; namely, biological cost of the resistance and effectiveness of individual resistance genes against multiple pathogen types. We show that mutations in Mlo, Ror1, and Ror2 genes known to affect powdery mildew pre-invasion resistance have no detectable effect on partial resistance to barley leaf rust as measured by latency period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-489
JournalAustralian Journal of Agricultural Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • powdery mildew resistance
  • barley epidermal-cells
  • disease resistance
  • nonhost resistance
  • puccinia-hordei
  • arabidopsis-thaliana
  • stripe rust
  • gene-expression
  • tip necrosis
  • subcellular-localization


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