Host Plant Resistance Breeding

  • P. M. Priyadarshan


Biotic stresses are the damage to plants caused by other living organisms such as bacteria, fungi, nematodes, insects, viruses and viroids. Some of the biotic stresses that devastated the world in the past are the potato blight in Ireland, coffee rust in Brazil, maize leaf blight in the USA. The great Bengal (India) famine in 1943 is also said to be due to crop failure. Annually, it is estimated that almost 15% of global crop yields are lost due to diseases. Since tropics and subtropics favour disease development, the extent of such losses varies with crop and the region. Chemical control was considered as an efficient method; however, the use of pesticide/fungicide dramatically increased, and the overall crop loss has not decreased. This is due to the upsurge of different races of pathogens over a period of time. Breeding for host resistance offers an effective alternative to fungicides/pesticides that can be combined with other management practices as part of an integrated programme. For example, disease-resistant crops perform better with timely planting and harvest and with crop diversification. The dynamics behind host-pathogen interactions is that virulent pathogen populations can arise and attack resistant crop varieties.


Concepts in insect and pathogen resistance Host defence responses to pathogen invasions Vertical and horizontal resistance Biochemical and molecular mechanisms Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) Induced systemic resistance Qualitative and quantitative resistance Genes for qualitative resistance Genes for quantitative resistance Pathogen detection and response Signal transduction Resistance through multiple signalling mechanisms Classical breeding strategies Back cross breeding Recurrent selection Multi-stage selection Marker assisted breeding strategies Monogenic vs. QTLs Marker assisted backcross breeding (MABC) Pyramiding resistance genes Marker-assisted selection (MAS) Modern approaches to biotic stress tolerance 

Further Reading

  1. Kushalappa AC et al (2016) Plant innate immune response: Qualitative and quantitative resistance. Crit Rev Plant Sci 35(1):38–55. Scholar
  2. Fritsche-Neto R, Borém A (eds) (2012) Plant breeding for biotic stress resistance. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  3. Shen Y et al (2018) The early response during the interaction of fungal phytopathogen and host plant. Open Biol 7:170057. Scholar
  4. David J, Schneider DJ, Collmer A (2010) Studying plant-pathogen interactions in the genomics era: beyond molecular Koch’s postulates to systems biology. Annu Rev Phytopathol 48:457–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Collinge DB Transgenic crops and beyond: how can biotechnology contribute to the sustainable control of plant diseases? Eur J Plant Pathol 152:977–986. Scholar
  6. Boyd LA (2013) Plant–pathogen interactions: disease resistance in modern agriculture. Trends Genet 29:233–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. M. Priyadarshan
    • 1
  1. 1.Erstwhile Deputy DirectorRubber Research Institute of IndiaKottayamIndia

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