Readers of this journal are well aware how far our field has progressed towards mechanistic understanding of pathogenesis and immunity. Almost concurrently, this new fundamental knowledge is being translated into new tools for reducing disease losses in crops. This is obviously exciting for our research community and our varied stakeholders. Thus, the MPMI editorial board decided that the time is right for a special issue devoted to the topic of Translational Research. This issue comprises reviews, invited by the editors, and primary reports submitted in response to an open call. We are gratified to introduce articles that collectively encompass a wide range of applications and clearly illustrate the practical value of fundamental understanding of molecular plant-microbe interactions.