Role of biotechnology to produce plants resistant to fungal pathogens

Iffa Gaffoor, Surinder Chopra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Fungal pathogens produce a wide variety of chemically distinct compounds, some of which facilitate their invasion and infections, making fungi infection formidable opponents. In order to fight fungal diseases, extensive research is being carried out in laboratories worldwide to identify suitable plant genes that function in fungal resistance. This pursuit is increasingly possible due to rapid advances in technology that has led to affordable and faster methods for next generation sequencing of DNA, RNA, and proteins of both host plants and pathogens. Under controlled conditions, it has been demonstrated that modifying the expression of genes in transgenic plants has improved resistance against fungal pathogens. However, most of this research has not progressed beyond the laboratory. This is in part due to the high costs of producing and deregulating transgenic plants that can be grown by the farmer. Another reason why fungal resistant transgenic plants are lagging is because fungi are more complex pathogens requiring more sophisticated strategies. But there are a few promising examples where transgenic plants have been tested under field conditions over several years and it is possible that we may see them commercially in the near future. We also expect that the advances in sequencing technology will aid in the understanding of the interactions between plant and pathogen, thereby broadening the pool of candidate genes that can be used to produce transgenic plants resistant to fungal diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPlant Biotechnology
Subtitle of host publicationExperience and Future Prospects
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9783319057712
ISBN (Print)3319068911, 9783319057705
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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