The role of water in plant-microbe interactions.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

Throughout their life plants are associated with various microorganisms, including commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms. Pathogens are genetically adapted to aggressively colonize and proliferate in host plants to cause disease. However, disease outbreaks occur only under permissive environmental conditions. The interplay between host, pathogen and environment is famously known as the 'disease triangle'. Among the environmental factors, rainfall events, which often create a period of high atmospheric humidity, have repeatedly been shown to promote disease outbreaks in plants, suggesting that the availability of water is crucial for pathogenesis. During pathogen infection, water-soaking spots are frequently observed on infected leaves as an early symptom of disease. Recent studies have shown that pathogenic bacteria dedicate specialized virulence proteins to create an aqueous habitat inside the leaf apoplast under high humidity. Water availability in the apoplastic environment, and probably other associated changes, can determine the success of potentially pathogenic microbes. These new findings reinforce the notion that the fight over water may be a major battleground between plants and pathogens. In this article, we will discuss the role of water availability in host-microbe interactions, with a focus on plant-bacterial interactions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Aung, K; Jiang, Y; He, SY

Published Date

  • February 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 93 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 771 - 780

PubMed ID

  • 29205604

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5849256

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1365-313X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0960-7412

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/tpj.13795


  • eng