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K-State research looks at pathogenic attacks on host plants
Date:12/17/2010

elopment. However, once the pathogen takes control of expression, it makes the plant susceptible."

White and Antony also have an article appearing in the December issue of the journal The Plant Cell. They collaborated with researchers from Iowa State University to investigate a second susceptibility gene and its role in the spread of disease.

White's laboratory has been working on such rice research for 15 years, but started collaborating with the Stanford researchers earlier this year.

"We have been trying to understand what the pathogen wants from the host, how the pathogen gets it, and how the host tries to defend itself," Antony said.

Although the research is important in the field of plant genetics, it has broader applications as well. Because researchers have a better understanding of how to control pathogen food supplies, they can use this research to reduce crop diseases and subsequent losses. The plant research may also apply the findings to humans or animals because both use similar sugar transporter genes to transfer glucose, leading to new possibilities for medicine and diabetes research.

White and Antony are in the midst of a three-year, $3-million National Science Foundation grant, and have also been funded in their research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Research Initiative program through the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.


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Contact: Frank White
fwhite@k-state.edu
785-532-1362
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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