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The fitness costs to plants of resistance to pathogens

Jeremy J Burdon* and Peter H Thrall

Author Affiliations

Division of Plant Industry, CSIRO, PO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

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Genome Biology 2003, 4:227  doi:10.1186/gb-2003-4-9-227

Published: 14 August 2003


It has long been predicted that genes giving resistance to pathogens impose a cost on the fitness of plants. A new study has shown this to be true for one resistance gene in Arabidopsis. This raises intriguing theoretical and practical questions about how generally the results apply and how such costs are controlled in plants carrying resistance genes to several different pathogens.