Phytohormone pathways as targets of pathogens to facilitate infection

Ka Wai Ma, Wenbo Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


Plants are constantly threatened by potential pathogens. In order to optimize the output of defense against pathogens with distinct lifestyles, plants depend on hormonal networks to fine-tune specific responses and regulate growth-defense tradeoffs. To counteract, pathogens have evolved various strategies to disturb hormonal homeostasis and facilitate infection. Many pathogens synthesize plant hormones; more importantly, toxins and effectors are produced to manipulate hormonal crosstalk. Accumulating evidence has shown that pathogens exert extensive effects on plant hormone pathways not only to defeat immunity, but also modify habitat structure, optimize nutrient acquisition, and facilitate pathogen dissemination. In this review, we summarize mechanisms by which a wide array of pathogens gain benefits from manipulating plant hormone pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-725
Number of pages13
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Bacterial toxins
  • Pathogen effectors
  • Pathogenicity
  • Phytohormones
  • Plant immunity
  • Virulence

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