Pathogen fitness penalty as a predictor of durability of disease resistance genes

Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2001;39:187-224. doi: 10.1146/annurev.phyto.39.1.187.


Host plant resistance has been used extensively for disease control in many crop species; however, the resistance conferred by many sources is not durable as a result of rapid changes in the pathogen. Although many resistance genes have been identified in plant germplasm, there is no easy way to predict the quality or durability of these resistance genes. In this review, we revisit the hypothesis that resistance genes imposing a high penalty to the pathogen for adaptation will likely be durable. By elucidating the molecular changes involved in pathogen adaptation and the associated fitness cost, a proactive approach may be developed to predict the durability of resistance genes available for deployment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics*
  • Crops, Agricultural / microbiology
  • Fungi / genetics
  • Fungi / pathogenicity
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Plant Diseases / genetics*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Selection, Genetic*
  • Transcription Activator-Like Effectors
  • Virulence / genetics


  • AvrBs2 protein, Xanthomonas campestris
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Transcription Activator-Like Effectors
  • avrBs3-2 protein, Xanthomonas campestris