Progress in manipulating citrus defense pathways in favor of citrus resistance against greening and canker

Abeer Khalaf, Vicente J. Febres, Gloria A. Moore, Frederick G. Gmitter Jr.

Abstract


Understanding the mechanisms of plant–pathogen interaction is believed to be key to resolve the existing crop disease crisis. Molecular advances have facilitated the discovery and study of genes associated with natural defense pathways in a number of model systems. In our laboratories, citrus homologues of vital defense genes have been identified using comparative analysis and their expression has been characterized. In addition, differential gene expression during infection with citrus canker has been examined. Both approaches have facilitated the study of defense responses in citrus. The better understanding of these natural defense pathways has allowed plant-derived genes to be used to induce disease resistance. These recent discoveries as well as strategies for their practical application in citrus breeding are discussed in this review.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283