Annual review of phytopathology 2016 05 2354() 1-23 doi 10.1146/annurev-phyto-011516-040249
In this review, I recount my personal history. My drive to study host-pathogen interactions was to find alternatives for agrochemicals, which was triggered after reading the book "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson. I reflect on my research at the Laboratory of Phytopathology at Wageningen University, where I have worked for my entire career on the interaction between Cladosporium fulvum and tomato, and related gene-for-gene pathosystems. I describe different methods used to identify and sequence avirulence (Avr) genes from the pathogen and resistance (R) genes from the host. The major genes involved in classical gene-for-gene interactions have now been identified, and breeders can produce plants with multiple R genes providing durable and environmentally safe protection against pathogens. In some cases, this might require the use of genetically modified plants when R genes cannot be introduced by classical breeding.