Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a major role in pathogen-plant interactions: recognition of a pathogen by the plant rapidly triggers the oxidative burst, which is necessary for further defense reactions. The specific role of ROS in pathogen defense is still unclear. Studies on the pathogen so far have focused on the importance of the oxidative stress response (OSR) systems to overcome the oxidative burst or of its avoidance by effectors. This review focuses on the role of ROS for fungal virulence and development. In the recent years, it has become obvious that () fungal OSR systems might not have the predicted crucial role in pathogenicity, () fungal pathogens, especially necrotrophs, can actively contribute to the ROS level in planta and even take advantage of the host's response, () fungi possess superoxide-generating NADPH oxidases similar to mammalian Nox complexes that are important for pathogenicity; however, recent data indicate that they are not directly involved in pathogen-host communication but in fungal differentiation processes that are necessary for virulence.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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