Plant responses to pathogen attack: molecular basis of qualitative resistance
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Pathogens attack plants to assimilate nutrients from them. All plant species have succeeded in overcoming pathogenic attack; therefore disease condition is not the rule but the exception. A co-evolutionary battle has equipped plants with sophisticated defense mechanisms and cognate pathogens with a corresponding arsenal of counter strategies to overcome them. Traditionally, plant-pathogen interaction has been associated with molecules involved in recognition processes giving rise to models such as the "Zig-zag Model". However, this model is being re-evaluated because it is not consistent with the complexity of the interaction. Current models propose a holistic view of a process where the response is not always determined by the interaction of two molecules. This review discusses the main aspects related to qualitative responses in the plant-pathogen interaction and the new proposed models.