Review: Same tune, different song — cytokinins as virulence factors in plant–pathogen interactions? (COPB)

Many pathogens produce virulence factors that improve their pathogenicity, including in some cases compounds produced by the host, such as the hormone cytokinin. Spallek et al. review the various plant pathogens — spanning from bacteria to parasitic plants — that use cytokinins as virulence factors; cytokinin biosynthetic and modification genes can be found in these diverse pathogens. Cytokinin production can support pathogen growth through the development of structures such as tumors or galls or by altering patterns of nutrient transport, but can also enhance the host’s susceptibility to invasion.  (Summary by Mary Williams) Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 10.1016/j.pbi.2018.03.002