Host-selective toxins as agents of cell death in plant-fungus interactions

Jonathan E. Markham*, Jacques Hille

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)
544 Downloads (Pure)


Host-selective toxins are known determinants of compatibility in plant-fungus interactions and provide a powerful model for understanding the specificity of these associations. The identification of genes required for toxin biosynthesis has shown that the genes are unique to the toxin producing species and are clustered in complex loci. These loci may have been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Many, if not all, host-selective toxins act by disrupting biochemical processes and in several cases the resulting cell death has the characteristics of programmed cell death. This ability to make dead tissue from living has enabled these facultative saprophytic fungi to become plant pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-239
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2001

Cite this