Phytopathology (2020) 110, 532-543

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Guus Bakkeren and Les J. Szabo (2020)
Progress on molecular genetics and manipulation of rust fungi
Phytopathology 110 (3), 532-543
Abstract: Among the thousands of rust species described, many are known for their devastating effects on their hosts, which include major agriculture crops and trees. Hence, for over a century, these basidiomycete pathogenic fungi have been researched and experimented with. However, due to their biotrophic nature, they are challenging organisms to work with and, needing their hosts for propagation, represent pathosystems that are not easily experimentally accessible. Indeed, efforts to perform genetics have been few and far apart for the rust fungi, though one study performed in the 1940s was famously instrumental in formulating the gene-for-gene hypothesis describing pathogen-host interactions. By taking full advantage of the molecular genetic tools developed in the 1980s, research on many plant pathogenic microbes thrived, yet similar work on the rusts remained very challenging though not without some successes. However, the genomics era brought real breakthrough research for the biotrophic fungi and with innovative experimentation and the use of heterologous systems, molecular genetic analyses over the last 2 decades have significantly advanced our insight into the function of many rust fungus genes and their role in the interaction with their hosts. This has allowed optimizing efforts for resistance breeding and the design and testing of various novel strategies to reduce the devastating diseases they cause.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
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Database assignments for author(s): Guus Bakkeren

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
molecular biology - genes


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.