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Researchers examine plant's ability to identify, block invading bacteria
Date:3/3/2010

can prevent infection thus making the plant immune to that disease, the scientists noted.

"The question is fundamental. Why are we healthy in an environment of so many different bacteria?" Koiwa asked. "Why can one pathogen infect one kind of organism and not others? In this case, the same bacteria normally infects tomato plants but not arabidopsis."

Koiwa said many researchers are studying the pathway, or molecular road, that a pathogen takes on its journey to infect another organism. They want to find what "gates" exist in an organism that prevent infection with the notion that the same blocks could be adapted in a susceptible organism to prevent disease.

He said eventually using this pathway to develop new plant varieties that do not allow pathogens inside the cells would be better than breeding lines that are merely "resistant" to diseases.

"In the case of resistance, a plant has to try to fend off an infection that has been let in," Koiwa explained. "But a properly working immunity system does not let the pathogen in, so the plant does not get sick in the first place."


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Contact: Kathleen Phillips
ka-phillips@tamu.edu
979-845-2872
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert  

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