Innate immunity in plants: an arms race between pattern recognition receptors in plants and effectors in microbial pathogens

Science. 2009 May 8;324(5928):742-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1171647.


For many years, research on a suite of plant defense responses that begin when plants are exposed to general microbial elicitors was underappreciated, for a good reason: There has been no critical experimental demonstration of their importance in mediating plant resistance during pathogen infection. Today, these microbial elicitors are named pathogen- or microbe-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs or MAMPs) and the plant responses are known as PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI). Recent studies provide an elegant explanation for the difficulty of demonstrating the role of PTI in plant disease resistance. It turns out that the important contribution of PTI to disease resistance is masked by pathogen virulence effectors that have evolved to suppress it.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Plant Diseases / immunology*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants / immunology*
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Plants / microbiology*
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / metabolism*
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition
  • Virulence Factors