Being sessile, plants mainly depend on physiological and metabolic adaptations to obtain the phenotypic flexibility required to withstand the adverse biotic and abiotic growth conditions with which they are faced everyday. While the responses of plants to abiotic stresses are mainly focussed on maintaining cellular homeostasis, in the response to biotic stresses, the compatible or incompatible interaction between two different biotic entities, some very specific responses can be discerned. The specificity of biotic stresses, generally limited to a small group of related plant species, makes that these events cannot be studied using the established model species for plant molecular research. Therefore, an overview of the techniques and tools used for the identification of proteins in biotic stress studies will be given. The text is subdivided in two main sections, a first part focussed on an overview of the techniques that are currently used in the study of biological question using proteomics (e.g. gel- or non-gel-based techniques, posttranslational modifications or PTM) and a second part wherein some examples of biotic stress studies on plants are discussed. Because expert reviews on literature concerning the interactions of plants with the different groups of biotic stressors are part of this special issue, the emphasis is on the experimental methods and techniques used.
Keywords: Biotic stress, proteomics, technical developments, 2DE gel electrophoresis, Phytophtora infestans, Fusarium oxysporum, induced systemic resistance, sodium dodecyl sulphate, Syngene, peptide mass fingerprint analysis, PMF, calcium-dependent protein kinases, CDPKs, immobilised metal affinity chromatography, IMAC, Bemisia tabaci, Myzus persicae, Solanum tuberosum, Manduca sexta, Pissodes strobi, Arabidopsis thaliana, Phytophtora citricola, Fagus sylvatica, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Brassica napus, avirulence, effector translocator, Xanthomonas campestris, Xylella fastidiosa, Ralstonia solanacearum, Solanum lycopersicum, Heterodera glycines
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