Navigation Links
Horticultural hijacking
Date:9/21/2012

It's a battleground down there in the soil where plants and bacteria dwell.

Even though beneficial root bacteria come to the rescue when a plant is being attacked by pathogens, there's a dark side to the relationship between the plant and its white knight.

According to research reported by a University of Delaware scientific team in the September online edition of Plant Physiology, the most highly cited plant journal, a power struggle ensues as the plant and the "good" bacteria vie over who will control the plant's immune system.

"For the brief period when the beneficial soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis is associated with the plant, the bacterium hijacks the plant's immune system," says Harsh Bais, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences, whose laboratory group led the research at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute.

In studies of microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs), a hot area of plant research, the UD team found that B. subtilis produces a small antimicrobial protein that suppresses the root defense response momentarily in the lab plant Arabidopsis.

"It's the first time we've shown classically how suppression by a benign bacteria works," Bais says. "There are shades of gray the bacteria that we view as beneficial don't always work toward helping plants."

In the past, Bais' lab has shown that plants under aerial attack send an SOS message, through secretions of the chemical compound malate, to recruit the beneficial B. subtilis to come help.

In more recent work, Bais and his collaborators showed that MAMP perception of pathogens at the leaf level could trigger a similar response in plants. Through an intraplant, long-distance signaling, from root to shoot, beneficial bacteria are recruited to forge a system-wide defense, boosting the plant's immune system, the team demonstrated. In that study, the Bais team also questioned the overall tradeoffs involved in plants that are associated with so-called beneficial microbes.

In the latest work, involving the testing of more than 1,000 plants, the researchers shed more light on the relationship. They show that B. subtilis uses a secreted peptide to suppress the immune response in plants. It is known that plants synthesize several antimicrobial compounds to ward off bacteria, Bais says.

The team also shows that when plant leaves were treated with a foliar MAMP flagellin, a structural protein in the flagellum, the tail-like appendage that bacteria use like a propeller it triggered the recruitment of beneficial bacteria to the plant roots.

"The ability of beneficial bacteria to suppress plant immunity may facilitate efficient colonization of rhizobacteria on the roots," Bais says. Rhizobacteria form an important symbiotic relationship with the plant, fostering its growth by converting nitrogen in the air into a nutrient form the plant can use.

"We don't know how long beneficial bacteria could suppress the plant immune response, but we do know there is a very strong warfare under way underground," Bais says, noting that his lab is continuing to explore these interesting questions. "We are just beginning to understand this interaction between plants and beneficial soil bacteria."


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrea Boyle Tippett
aboyle@udel.edu
302-831-1421
University of Delaware
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Screening horticultural imports: New models assess plant risk through better analysis
2. To drive infections, a hijacking virus mimics a cells signaling system
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Horticultural hijacking
(Date:2/3/2017)... ANTONIO , Feb. 3, 2017  Texas Biomedical Research ... Dr. Larry Schlesinger as the Institute,s new ... Texas Biomed effective May 31, 2017. He is currently the ... Director of the Center for Microbial Interface Biology at Ohio ... Schlesinger as the new President and CEO of Texas Biomed," ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... , Feb. 2, 2017   TapImmune, ... clinical-stage immuno-oncology company specializing in the development of ... the treatment of cancer and metastatic disease, announced ... and GMP manufacturing of a second clinical lot ... targeting folate receptor alpha. The manufactured vaccine product ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... -- Central to its deep commitment to honor the ... Prize Foundation today announced the laureates of the ... in their respective fields of Life Sciences and ... recognized with the 2017 Japan Prize for original ... the advancement of science and technology, but also ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Academy of Model Aeronautics ... leading maker of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), are launching a joint program to ... effectively, and support educational outreach efforts. , AMA and DJI will collaborate on ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 16, 2017 , ... Avomeen & ... The event will be held at Avomeen Analytical Services (4840 Venture Dr., Ann ... MichBio member organization. They provide an opportunity to interact with peers, make new connections ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  MDNA Life Sciences ... development of liquid biopsy tests based on the ... an exclusive license agreement with its first international ... liquid biopsy test for prostate cancer, the Prostate ... . This is the first overseas appointment ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... 16, 2017   Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... company developing first-in-class biological therapies for cardiac and ... elected to terminate its license agreement with the ... including Cenderitide. "Our decision to return ... prioritize our efforts to advance our core cell ...
Breaking Biology Technology: