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  • Silicon in a sunflower
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    Silicon: the underappreciated plant nutrient

    What nutrients do you consider to be important to a plant? What do plants need to be successful, to grow, photosynthesise, develop and defend themselves effectively against pests and disease? The majority of people, whether they study plants or not, would be able to mention at least a few of these: nitrogen, phosphorus . . […] More

  • Schematic representation of the role of cytokinins in plant growth and defence against biotrophic pathogens, and in the growth–defence trade-off.
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    Should I fight or should I grow? Cytokinins in defence-growth trade-offs

    Constitutive defence activation in plants leads to resistance to a broad-spectrum of pathogens, but also frequently to stunted growth and reduced seed sets; how do plants decide whether to defend against infection or to utilise energy for growth? Plant hormones are important integrators of the physiological responses that influence the outcome of plant-pathogen interactions. Albrecht […] More

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    The defensive role of foliar endophytic fungi for a South American tree

    Fungal endophytes colonize living internal plant tissues without causing any visible symptoms of disease. Endophytic fungi associated with healthy leaves of the South American tree Embothrium coccineum (Proteaceae) appear to play an important role in host protection in nature. A recent study published in AoB PLANTS by González-Teuber showed that a few common taxa dominated […] More

  • Musa-Meloidogyne interaction
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    Plant immunity: A Special Issue of Annals of Botany

    Plants are constantly exposed to a range of pathogens and pests, with the emergence of new virulent pathogen races responsible for considerable global crop losses every year. Progress in research in recent decades has increased our understanding of the plant innate immune system at the molecular level, fundamental for the continued development of novel approaches […] More

  • Value of plant tissues.
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    How do plants know where they should defend?

    If you’re a plant what is the best way to defend yourself, given that you can’t run from attackers? I’ve had a think and I went for being massive, with armour-planting, spikes, thorns and stings, along with poisonous leaves and roots. If this is such a good idea (and it’s not), why aren’t plants doing […] More

  • Mechanisms behind optimal defence patterns
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    Mechanisms behind optimal defence patterns (Invited Review)

    The optimal defence hypothesis (ODH) predicts that tissues that contribute most to a plant’s fitness and have the highest probability of being attacked will be the parts best defended. In general, young tissues show stronger induced defence responses and contain higher basal levels of specialized defensive metabolites than other older plant parts. In this review, […] More

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    The Top 10 fungal pathogens in molecular plant pathology

    Gary has absolutely promised me this will be the last top 10 list. We’ll see 🙂 But here it is anyway, the results of Molecular Plant Pathology’s survey of fungal pathologists which asked them to nominate the fungal pathogens they would place in a ‘Top 10’ based on scientific/economic importance: Magnaporthe oryzae  Botrytis cinerea  Puccinia […] More

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    Here we go again…

    In January I wrote about Molecular Plant Pathology’s top 10 plant viruses in molecular plant pathology. Everyone likes a good list, but I had no idea it would be so controversial. Well now they’re at it again, this time with the top 10 fungal pathogens in molecular plant pathology: Magnaporthe oryzae Botrytis cinerea Puccinia spp. […] More