A systems biology perspective on plant-microbe interactions: biochemical and structural targets of pathogen effectors

Leighton Pritchard, Paul Birch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Plants have biochemical defences against stresses from predators, parasites and pathogens. In this review we discuss the interaction of plant defences with microbial pathogens such as bacteria, fungi and oomycetes, and viruses. We examine principles of complex dynamic networks that allow identification of network components that are differentially and predictably sensitive to perturbation, thus making them likely effector targets. We relate these principles to recent developments in our understanding of known effector targets in plant-pathogen systems, and propose a systems-level framework for the interpretation and modelling of host-microbe interactions mediated by effectors. We describe this framework briefly, and conclude by discussing useful experimental approaches for populating this framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-603
Number of pages20
JournalPlant Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2011


  • effector
  • modelling
  • network
  • pathogen
  • systems biology

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