Fungal endophytes in plants and their relationship to plant disease

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The enigmatic endophytic fungi are beginning to reveal their secrets. Like pathogens, they can manipulate the host for their own benefit to create their own optimal habitat. Some endophytic manipulations induce resistance or otherwise outcompete pathogens and can thus be exploited for biological control. Like pathogens and other symbionts, endophytes produce effector proteins and other molecules, ranging from specialised metabolites, phytohormones and microRNAs, to manipulate their hosts and other microorganisms they meet. There is a continuum from endophyte to pathogen: some organisms can infest or cause disease in some hosts, but not in others. Molecular genetics approaches coupled with functional characterisation have demonstrated their worth for understanding the biological phenomena underlying endophytic fungal interactions.

TidsskriftCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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