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Parasitic plants 'steal' genes from their hosts
Date:6/8/2012

University, explained, "The elevated rate of horizontal gene transfer between T. rafflesiae and its parasite R. cantleyi raises the possibility that there is a 'fitness' benefit to the parasite. For example they may improve the parasites ability to extract nutrients from the host, or help it evade the host's defences, as has been seen for a bacterial pathogen of citrus trees."

Prof Davis continued, "Furthermore it appears that about one third of the parasites own genes have evolved to be more like those of T. rafflesia. Finding out how T. rafflesia manages its genomic deception will provide us with real insights into the slow war between plant parasites and their hosts."


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Contact: Hilary Glover
hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com
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BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert  

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Parasitic plants 'steal' genes from their hosts
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