Verticillium wilts in crop plants: pathogen invasion and host defence responses.
Verticillium wilt is caused mainly by Verticillium dahliae Kleb. and is a constraint for growers of many economic crops and ornamental plant species. Disease control necessitates the use of multiple methods usually coordinated as part of a disease management strategy. Unlike foliar diseases, much information is lacking for knowledge-based strategies to be developed for managing root infection. Revealing the mechanisms of interaction between the pathogen and its hosts would be a first step towards achieving such a goal. More effort needs to be directed towards understanding how the pathogen infects and colonizes its hosts, and how plants respond to these invaders. This review describes several of the efforts to elucidate the interactions of V. dahliae with its hosts, and raises some of the key points that need to be addressed in future work on this important disease.