Research on the interaction between plants and microbes has attracted considerable attention in recent years. The use of modem genetic techniques has now made possible a detailed analysis both of plant and of microbial genes involved in phytopathogenic and beneficial interactions. At the biochemical level, signal molecules and their receptors, either of plant or of microbial origins, have been detected which act in signal transduction pathways or as co-regulators of gene expression. We begin to understand the molecular basis of classical concepts such as gene-for-gene relationships, hypersensitive response, induced resistance, to name just a few. We realize, and will soon exploit, the tremendous potential of the results of this research for practical application, in particular to protect crop plants against diseases and to increase crop yield and quality. This exclung field of research, which is also of truly interdisciplinary nature, is expanding rapidly. A Symposium series has been devoted to it which began in 1982. Recently, the 5th International Symposium on the Molecular Genetics of Plant-Microbe Interactions was held in Interlaken, Switzerland. It brought together 640 scientists from almost 30 different countries who reported their latest research progress in 47 lectures, 10 short oral presentations, and on over 400 high-quality posters. This book presents a collection of papers that comprehensively reflect the major areas under study, explain novel experimental approaches currently in use, highlight significant advances made over the last one or two years but also emphasize the obstacles still ahead of us.