Molecular Analysis of Plant Defense Responses to Plant Pathogens

  • P. B. Lindgren
  • J. L. Jakobek
  • J. A. Smith


A number of inducible plant responses are believed to contribute to disease resistance. These responses include the hypersensitive reaction, phytoalexin synthesis, and the production of chitinase, glucanase, and hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins. Because of the coordinate induction of these responses, it has been difficult to determine whether they are functional defense responses, and if they are, how they specifically contribute to disease resistance. Recent developments in molecular biology have provided experimental techniques that will reveal the specific contribution of each response to disease resistance. In this paper, we describe a strategy to determine if the hypersensitive reaction is a functional plant defense mechanism. Key words: chalcone isomerase, chalcone synthase, chitinase, hrp genes, hypersensitive reaction, nematode, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, phytoalexin, Pseudomonas syringae, resistance.