Deciphering host resistance and pathogen virulence: the Arabidopsis/Pseudomonas interaction as a model


Correspondence: Dr Andrew F. Bent, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1630 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706 USA. Tel.: +1 608 265 3034, Fax: +1 608 263 2626, E-mail:


The last decade has witnessed steady progress in deciphering the molecular basis of plant disease resistance and pathogen virulence. Although contributions have been made using many different plant and pathogen species, studies of the interactions between Arabidopsis thaliana and Pseudomonas syringae have yielded a particularly significant body of information. The present review focuses on recent findings regarding R gene products and the guard hypothesis, RAR1/SGT1 and other examples where protein processing activity is implicated in disease resistance or susceptibility, the use of microarray expression profiling to generate information and experimental leads, and important molecular- and genome-level discoveries regarding P. syringae effectors that mediate bacterial virulence. The development of the ArabidopsisPseudomonas model system is also reviewed briefly, and we close with a discussion of characteristics to consider when selecting other pathosystems as experimentally tractable models for future research.