Functional analysis of plant disease resistance genes and their downstream effectors

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 1999 Aug;2(4):273-9. doi: 10.1016/S1369-5266(99)80049-1.


Plant disease resistance (R) genes encode proteins that both determine recognition of specific pathogen-derived avirulence (Avr) proteins and initiate signal transduction pathways leading to complex defense responses. Recent developments suggest that recognition specificity of R proteins is determined by either a protein kinase domain or by a region consisting of leucine-rich repeats. R genes conferring resistance to bacterial, viral, and fungal pathogens appear to use multiple signaling pathways, some of which involve distinct proteins and others which converge upon common downstream effectors. Manipulation of R genes and their signaling pathways by transgenic expression is a promising strategy to improve disease resistance in plants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Genes, Plant
  • Plant Diseases / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Plant Proteins
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases