Basic Resistance: The Absence of Parasitism of Non-Host Plants by Phytopathogenic Fungi

  • Hermann H. Prell
  • Peter Day


This chapter deals more thoroughly with the features of basic resistance and stresses the contrast with basic compatibility (Chap. 7) which leads to parasitism. Most plants remain free of infection by microbial pathogens because they are non-hosts for them. This may depend on the constitutive expression of defense barriers, such as a particularly thick cuticle protecting the epidermis of leaves, synthesis ofpoisonous substances, e.g., alkaloids or saponins, and/or a repertoire of different inducible defense mechanisms. On the other hand, the phenomenon of “defense” against a pathogen may be simulated by the parasite’s inability to colonize the plant, because it lacks suitable pathogenicity genes. General speaking, in this case matching between the pathogen and its host plant for colonization is lacking. All factors that preclude the plant’s colonization by pathogens are included in the term “basic resistance” (non-host resistance, basic incompatibility). Less commonly used but doubtless more appropriate is the term “basic incompatibility,” because it comprises both aspects of preventing colonization of the plant: the lack of appropriate pathogenicity genes by the pathogen, and defense by the basic resistance mechanisms of the plant. At times the term immunity has also been used.


Basic Resistance Pathogenicity Gene Pathogen Defense Plant Receptor Defense Barrier 
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Relevant papers

  1. Corbin D.R., Sauer N., Lamb C.f. (1987): Differential regulation of a hydroxyproline-rich glycoprotein gene family in wounded and infected plants. Mol.Cell.Biol. 7:4337–4344PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermann H. Prell
    • 1
  • Peter Day
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Pflanzenpathologie und PflanzenschutzUniversität GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and the Environment, Foran Hall, Cook CollegeRutgers, The State University of New JerseyNew BrunswickUSA

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