Navigation Links
Computers aid in cracking deception in plants
Date:6/25/2009

COLUMBIA, Mo. If the growing presence of computer 'geeks' on television crime shows is any indicator, computers are increasingly becoming essential tools for detecting and combating skullduggery. However, television detectives are not the only ones taking advantage of these tools. Researchers also are beginning to collaborate with computer scientists to help uncover biological forms of deception, known as molecular mimicry.

"Molecular mimicry is a biological mechanism that a pathogen, such as a bacterium, uses to trick a host organism into accepting it and, in some cases, to alter the host's function to its own benefit," said Dmitry Korkin, assistant professor in the University of Missouri Informatics Institute and Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering. "All this mimicry occurs among proteins."

Korkin recently received a five-year, $613,000 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation to apply his computational research to the study of molecular mimicry in an important plant pathogen, the soybean cyst nematode.

The soybean cyst nematode is a small parasitic roundworm that infects the roots of a soybean plant. As part of its modus operandi, the nematode secretes proteins into the soybean that change the plant's cellular function and causes it to create a specialized cell from which the nematode feeds. Scientists think molecular mimicry may be involved in this host-pathogen interaction, but detecting it experimentally is difficult due to the sheer volume of proteins involved.

By applying concepts of machine learning and pattern recognition, Korkin will narrow the field of potential protein candidates by identifying protein binding sites in the soybean that match with those in the nematode.

"The problem is similar to trying to detect a face in a group of people," Korkin said. "To match the face, you need to know specific features about it: the color of the face, the color of the eyes, the shape of the nose, and so on. In our case, we're trying to find a specific protein binding site among a group of proteins from the nematode that match a particular binding site in the soybean using a set of chemical features."

Once potential binding sites are identified computationally, Korkin will work with Melissa Mitchum, assistant professor of plant sciences in MU's Interdisciplinary Plant Group (IPG), to verify them experimentally.

"We expect that information resulting from the research will help scientists improve soybean cultivars for disease resistance by accelerating the pace of discovery on resistance to this pathogen," said Korkin, who also is a member of the IPG and an investigator in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center.

He will be applying similar computational methods in studies of Shigella flexneri, a bacterium that can cause diarrhea in humans. For this research, he will be working closely with William Picking, professor at the University of Kansas.

Additional benefits of the project will be the interdisciplinary training of MU students, which may encourage them to consider careers in either the biological or computer sciences.

"This project provides a great environment to train students to think across disciplines," Korkin said. "Students from the life sciences will be working closely with students from computer science, and vice versa, to apply their individual expertise to solve a common research problem."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kelsey Jackson
JacksonKN@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Computers explain why pears may become brown during commercial storage
2. Liter of fuel would last UK 1 year if cars had kept pace with computers
3. FSU researcher using computers to hone cancer-fighting strategies
4. KAUST and IBM to build 1 of the fastest and most powerful supercomputers
5. Motorola Introduces Mobile Biometric Identification for Handheld Computers
6. Caltech researchers train computers to analyze fruit-fly behavior
7. Cracking the species code for plants
8. Sands of Gobi Desert yield new species of nut-cracking dinosaur
9. Layered approach may yield stronger, more successful bone implants
10. Clever plants chat over their own network
11. Plants can be used to study how and why people respond differently to drugs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Computers aid in cracking deception in plants
(Date:3/14/2016)... , Allemagne, March 14, 2016 ... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> - Renvoi : ... - --> --> ... solutions biométriques, fournit de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales ... LF10 de DERMALOG sera utilisé pour produire des ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... --  Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today announced ... testing its biometric identity solution at the Otay Mesa border ... identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving the country. ... determine the efficiency and accuracy of using biometric technologies in ... until May 2016. --> the United States ...
(Date:3/8/2016)... March 8, 2016   Valencell , the ... announced it has secured $11M in Series D ... a new venture fund being launched by UAE-based ... from existing investors TDF Ventures and WSJ Joshua ... continue its triple-digit growth and accelerate its pioneering ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... In a ... 25 out of the state’s 76 fastest-growing private companies; a small percentage of the ... and ranked organizations on the percent change in revenue from 2012 to 2015. ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... the sensor and data driven conferences, will take place on June 7-8, 2016, at the New ... Vidya Raman-Tangella on incorporating technology -- including AR/VR, machine learning, apps, robotics and AI ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Nashville Fertility Center ... A contingency of reproductive endocrinologists, including Dr. George Hill at Nashville ... to help them build families. , Ovation Fertility is a nationwide network of ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... F.E.E.D. Co., the Feline Environmental Enrichment ... veterinarian-designed product for indoor cats. The NoBowl Feeding System replaces the bowl with ... way nature intended. NoBowls make cats happy and healthy. , Since being introduced ...
Breaking Biology Technology: