Nuclear processes associated with plant immunity and pathogen susceptibility

Graham B. Motion, Tiago M. Marques Monteiro Amaro, Natalja Kulagina, Edgar Huitema (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    17 Citations (Scopus)
    248 Downloads (Pure)


    Plants are sessile organisms that have evolved exquisite and sophisticated mechanisms to adapt to their biotic and abiotic environment. Plants deploy receptors and vast signalling networks to detect, transmit and respond to a given biotic threat by inducing properly dosed defence responses. Genetic analyses and, more recently, next-generation -omics approaches have allowed unprecedented insights into the mechanisms that drive immunity. Similarly, functional genomics and the emergence of pathogen genomes have allowed reciprocal studies on the mechanisms governing pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, collectively allowing more comprehensive views on the processes that govern disease and resistance. Among others, the identification of secreted pathogen molecules (effectors) that modify immunity-associated processes has changed the plant-microbe interactions conceptual landscape. Effectors are now considered both important factors facilitating disease and novel probes, suited to study immunity in plants. In this review, we will describe the various mechanisms and processes that take place in the nucleus and help regulate immune responses in plants. Based on the premise that any process required for immunity could be targeted by pathogen effectors, we highlight and describe a number of functional assays that should help determine effector functions and their impact on immune-related processes. The identification of new effector functions that modify nuclear processes will help dissect nuclear signalling further and assist us in our bid to bolster immunity in crop plants.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)243-252
    Number of pages10
    JournalBriefings in Functional Genomics
    Issue number4
    Early online date6 Apr 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


    • Nucleus
    • Immunity
    • Pathogen
    • Effector
    • Susceptibility
    • Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)


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