Classical and Modern Strategies to Enhance Plant Disease Resistance Against Fungi-A Review
Pathogenic fungi are associated with devastating plant diseases since centuries, causing huge epidemics in history. Plant pathogenic fungi have been managed by employing multiple strategies including chemical control, biological control, organic management etc. Despite, being a quick mean to provide an effective control, chemical management has hazardous effects on human health and environment. Fungal pathogens can be managed by using transgenic technology, molecular technology and other approaches aiming at genetic manipulation. Genetic engineering technology has been widely researched in recent era and many transgenic plants with remarkable resistance against potential fungal pathogens have been developed. Transgenic plants have the advantage of being environment friendly. Transgenic technology has aimed at engineering for the expression of many antifungal genes including pathogenesis related (PR) proteins, phytoalexins, hydrolytic enzymes, antimicrobial peptides and resistance (R) genes. The expression of these antifungal genes was successfully imparted into plants via, transgenic technology contributing to significant resistance against fungal pathogens. Another approach include RNA silencing “switching off” of the expression of specific genes by introducing double stranded RNA’s is gaining huge importance since last decade. Many fungal genes encoding for pathogenicity factors have been sequenced successfully. The application of RNA silencing against fungal pathogens is still limited. In this review all strategies which have been employed so far to enhance resistance against fungi will be discussed briefly.
Ayaz Farzand, Anam Moosa*, Abdul Jabbar and Abdur Rashid Khan