Cladosporium fulvum is a semi-biotrophic pathogen, which causes leaf mold of tomato (Lycopersicon spp.). In our laboratory this pathosystem serves as a model to study gene-for-gene interactions between plants and pathogenic fungi (Joosten & De Wit 1999). Many avirulence (Avr) genes and matching resistance (Cf) genes have been cloned and we are now beginning to understand how their products can induce an array of plant defense responses, including the classic hypersensitive response (HR). Here, we will discuss the latest results of our molecular studies on this interaction. These include the isolation of: (i) two new Avr genes, Avr2 and Avr4E, (ii) the determination of the specificity determinants within the Cf-4 and Cf-9 genes by artificial domain swaps and introduction of point mutations, (iii) the analysis of polymorphism occurring in AVR9-responsive Cf genes occurring in natural populations of L. pimpinellifolium, and finally (iv) the description of an efficient method to identify early HR-related genes.
- plant pathogens
- genetic resistance