Navigation Links
Researcher discovers pathway plants use to fight back against pathogens

COLUMBIA, Mo. Plants are not only smart, but they also wage a good fight, according to a University of Missouri biochemist. Previous studies have shown that plants can sense attacks by pathogens and activate their defenses. However, it has not been known what happens between the pathogen attacks and the defense activation, until now. A new MU study revealed a very complex process that explains how plants counter attack pathogens. This discovery could potentially lead to crops with enhanced disease resistance.

There is a chemical warfare between plants and pathogens, said Shuqun Zhang, associate professor of biochemistry in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the College of Medicine. Normally, plants put effort into growth and development. However, when plants sense pathogens, they have to use some of their energy and resources to make secondary metabolites to fight disease. Until now, very little has been known about how this process is regulated.

According to the study, plants first sense the attack of a pathogen, and then activate defense responses by triggering a complex signaling cascade in plants. One of the defense responses is the induction and accumulation of anti-microbial defense chemicals, known as phytoalexins.

In his study, Zhang found the specific signaling path, known as a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade, in the plants that ends when the defense chemical camalexin is created. Camalexin is essential for resistance to some plant diseases. Zhang used Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant and the first to have its entire genome sequenced, and Botrytis cinera, a fungal pathogen that causes grey mold disease in a number of plants including grapes and strawberries.

By understanding at the molecular and cellular levels how plants protect themselves under adverse environmental conditions, such as pathogen attacks, we could eventually improve the disease resistance of crops, Zhang said.


Contact: Jennifer Faddis
University of Missouri-Columbia

Related biology news :

1. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
2. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
3. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
4. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
5. University of Oregon researcher finds that on waters surface, nitric acid is not so tough
6. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
7. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
8. Researchers discover new strategies for antibiotic resistance
9. Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
10. Binghamton University researchers investigate evolving malaria resistance
11. Antioxidant to retard wrinkles discovered by Hebrew University researcher
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/2/2016)... LONDON , June 2, 2016 ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, ... Security Embossed Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure ... world leader in the production and implementation of Identity Management ... in January, however Decatur was selected ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging ... product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo ... ... ... News ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... DUBAI , UAE, May 9, 2016 ... choice when it comes to expanding freedom for high ... Even in today,s globally connected world, there ... online conferencing system could ever duplicate sealing your deal ... are obtaining second passports by taking advantage of citizenship ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... While ... machines such as the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines ... is the height of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of ... their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been ... Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SILVER SPRING, Md. , June 23, 2016 ... evidence collected from the crime scene to track the criminal ... sick, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. ... whole genome sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) ... precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of ... 15 countries. Read More About the Class of 2016 ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: