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Host cell death occurs during many, but not all,interactions between plants and the pathogens that infect them. This cell death can be associated with disease resistance or susceptibility, depending on the nature of the pathogen. The most well-known cell death response in plants is the hypersensitive response (HR) associated with a resistance response. HR is commonly regulated by direct or indirect interactions between avirulence proteins from pathogen and resistance proteins from plant and it can be the result of multiple signaling pathways. Ion fluxes and the generation of reactive oxygen species commonly precede cell death,but a direct involvement of the latter seems to vary with the plant-pathogen combination. Exciting advances have been made in the identification of cellular protective components and cell death suppressors that might operate in HR. In this review, recent progress in the mechanisms by which plant programmed cell death (PCD) occurs during disease resistance will be discussed.