About this Research Topic
Plants can be colonized by a broad range of microorganisms, ranging from prokaryotes (bacteria) to fungi and oomycetes. The strikingly wide spectrum of plant-microbe interactions can result in devastating diseases, beneficial symbioses or seemingly neutral endophytic cohabitation. These relationships have been categorised as biotrophic, hemibiotrophic, nectrotrophic or saprotrophic - depending on the physiological status of the plant host. Of these, biotrophic interactions, i.e. relationships in which microorganisms interrelate with a living plant without killing it, are particularly fascinating since they are supposed to require an advanced level of molecular communication between the plant and the microbe. In the past few years, secreted microbial effector molecules emerged as decisive agents in this molecular dialogue. In this Research Topic we aim to cover all aspects of biotrophic plant-microbe interactions, with a particular emphasis on work that helps to further unravel the molecular basis of the establishment, maintenance or defeat of such relationships. In this sense we welcome contributions on parasitic, mutualistic as well as endophytic plant-microbe interactions. We also encourage the authors to review critically whether the classical concepts of plant-microbe interactions based on trophic status are still valid in light of the latest advances in our understanding of genomics and cell biology.
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