Alternative splicing (AS) occurs widely in plants and can provide the main source of transcriptome and proteome diversity in an organism. AS functions in a range of physiological processes, including plant disease resistance, but its biological roles and functional mechanisms remain poorly understood. Many plant disease resistance (R) genes undergo AS, and several R genes require alternatively spliced transcripts to produce R proteins that can specifically recognize pathogen invasion. In the finely-tuned process of R protein activation, the truncated isoforms generated by AS may participate in plant disease resistance either by suppressing the negative regulation of initiation of immunity, or by directly engaging in effector-triggered signaling. Although emerging research has shown the functional significance of AS in plant biotic stress responses, many aspects of this topic remain to be understood. Several interesting issues surrounding the AS of R genes, especially regarding its functional roles and regulation, will require innovative techniques and additional research to unravel.

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Published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences, v. 15, no. 6, p. 10424-10445.

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