Fighting for their lives: Plants and pathogens
(With Maryann Herman) - Plants are in constant contact with microbes, many of which have the potential to cause disease. At least 10% and perhaps as much as 30% of the global harvest is lost to disease annually. Nevertheless, plant disease is the exception rather than the rule; the majority of plants are resistant to infection by the majority of microbes. What are the hallmarks of a successful pathogen, and a plant that is resistant to disease? This lecture introduces the big ideas about pathogenicity, the plant's immune system, and disease-prevention strategies. Posted June 27, 2012, revised February 27, 2015.