, Volume 106, Issue 6, pp 493-506

The Effect of Nitrogen on Disease Development and Gene Expression in Bacterial and Fungal Plant Pathogens

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Successful colonisation of plants by pathogens requires efficient utilisation of nutrient resources available in host tissues. Several bacterial and fungal genes are specifically induced during pathogenesis and under nitrogen-limiting conditions in vitro. This suggests that a nitrogen-limiting environment may be one of the cues for disease symptom development during growth of the pathogens in planta. Here we review recent literature on the effect of nitrogen and nitrogen-regulated genes on disease development, caused by phytopathogenic bacteria and fungi. Furthermore, the potential influence of nitrogen-limitation or general nutrient limitation on several in planta-induced bacterial and fungal pathogenicity, virulence and avirulence genes will be discussed.