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Journal Article

Cell polarization, a crucial process in fungal defence


Schmelzer,  E.
Central Microscopy, MPI for Plant Breeding Research, Max Planck Society;
Dept. of Biochemistry (Klaus Hahlbrock), MPI for Plant Breeding Research, Max Planck Society;

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Schmelzer, E. (2002). Cell polarization, a crucial process in fungal defence. Trends in Plant Science, 7(9), 411-415.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-3D98-1
Plant cells responding to fungal attack undergo large morphological alterations, along with rapid and extensive metabolic reprogramming. Cytological analysis of single infected plant cells revealed a large complexity of interdependent, rapid and dynamic changes of a multitude of cellular components. Among these changes are major rearrangements of the cytoskeleton, translocation of cytoplasm and of the cell nucleus to the fungal penetration site, and local apposition of barrier material around this site, which results in massive cell-wall reinforcement. If this first line of defence is overcome by the pathogen, in many cases, it is followed by hypersensitive plant cell death, which stops growth of the penetrating fungus and finally leads to its death. The speed and magnitude of the initial defence response appear to be crucial to plant disease resistance.