Ever since our emergence as a species, humans have suffered from disease. Amongst the diseases endangering humanity, those caused by pathogens that represent nearly every branch on the tree of life, have represented and continue to be a potent and direct biotic threat to our survival. Consequently, there has been lots of interest in the agents that cause disease, their biology and the means by which disease can be prevented or eradicated. Interestingly however, the pathogens that affect plants form an indirect but as of yet greater biotic threat to our survival. In this review our understanding of Plant-pathogen interactions is discussed. The current concepts that are thought to underpin Plant-Microbe interactions and form some of the reasons as to why pathogens are pathogenic are described.
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