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Biotic factors affect plant immune responses and plant resistance to pathogen infections. Despite the considerable progress made over the past two decades in manipulating genes, proteins and their levels from diverse sources, no complete genetic tolerance to environmental stresses has been developed so far in any crops. Plant defense response to pathogens, including Botrytis cinerea, is a complex biological process involving various changes at the biochemical, molecular (i.e. transcriptional) and physiological levels. Once a pathogen is detected, effective plant resistance activates signaling networks through the generation of small signaling molecules and the balance of hormonal signaling pathways to initiate defense mechanisms to the particular pathogen. Recently, studies using Arabidopsis thaliana and crop plants have shown that many genes are involved in plant responses to B. cinerea infection. In this article, we will review our current understanding of mechanisms regulating plant responses to B. cinerea with a particular interest on hormonal regulatory networks involving phytohormones salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), ethylene (ET) and abscisic acid (ABA). We will also highlight some potential gene targets that are promising for improving crop resistance to B. cinerea through genetic engineering and breeding programs. Finally, the role of biological control as a complementary and alternative disease management will be overviewed.

Citation

Synan AbuQamar, Khaled Moustafa, Lam Son Tran. Mechanisms and strategies of plant defense against Botrytis cinerea. Critical reviews in biotechnology. 2017 Mar;37(2):262-274

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PMID: 28056558

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