Interactions between Gossypium spp. and the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. malvacearum are understood in the context of the gene-for-gene concept. Reviewed here are the genetic basis for cotton resistance, with reference to resistance genes, resistance gene analogs, and bacterial avirulence genes, together with the physiological mechanisms involved in the hypersensitive response to the pathogen, including production of signaling hormones, synthesis of antimicrobial molecules and alteration of host cell structures. This host-pathogen interaction represents the most complex resistance gene/avr gene system yet known and is one of the few in which phytoalexins are known to be specifically localized in HR cells at anti-microbial concentrations.
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