With the completion of genome projects for Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa and several other plant species, an increasing number of whole genome sequences are now available for plants. In this post-genomic era, a more thorough understanding of gene expression and function can be achieved through the characterization of the products of expression, the proteins, which are essential biological determinants of plant phenotypes. Proteomics offers a continually evolving set of novel techniques to study all facets of protein structure and function. The application of proteomics in plant pathology is becoming more commonplace with techniques such as two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and mass spectrometry (MS) being used to characterize cellular and extracellular virulence and pathogenicity factors produced by pathogens as well as to identify changes in protein levels in plant hosts upon infection by pathogenic organisms and symbiotic counterparts. This review article summarizes the current status of gel- and non gel-based proteomic techniques and describes the significant discoveries that have resulted from the various proteome-level investigations into phytopathogenic microorganisms and plant host-microbe interactions.
Keywords: Biotic stress, fungus, genomics, mass spectrometry, pathogens, plant-pathogen interactions, proteomics
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