Navigation Links
Understanding plants' overactive immune system will help MU researchers build better crops

COLUMBIA, Mo. A plant's immune system protects the plant from harmful pathogens. If the system overreacts to pathogens, it can stunt plant growth and reduce seed production. Now, University of Missouri researchers have identified important suppressors that negatively regulate the responses of the immune system in the plant species Arabidopsis thaliana. Understanding the immune system of plants would allow breeders to create better yielding crop plants.

"The immune system provides plants with strong protection from pathogens," said Walter Gassmann, associate professor of plant sciences in the MU Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. "However, this response has the potential to be highly deleterious to the plant and needs to be tightly controlled. Certain suppressors protect the plant from responding to harmless stimuli and from overreacting to pathogens. If there is a mutation in these suppressors, the immune system can actually do more damage than good."

One way that plants fight pathogens is through effector-triggered immunity (ETI), which relies on the detection of pathogen effector proteins (proteins that are deployed by pathogens to interfere with the plant immune system). After the detection of a pathogen, specific proteins in the plant, known as resistance proteins, elicit an effective defense response. The plants' resistance proteins are regulated by suppressors to achieve minimal side effects to the plant while providing optimal responses to pathogens. However, when the ETI is overly activated, it can cause stunted growth and poor seed production.

In the study, MU researchers examined plants with genetic mutations that resulted in heightened plant immunity. By examining this mutation, researchers were able to identify specific genetic components that may negatively regulate the immune system and thus contribute to an appropriate immune response.

"The general control of effector-triggered signaling is poorly understood," Gassmann said. "Better insight into the immune system response will allow us to develop plants with more durable safeguards against pathogens."

Gassmann's research has been published recently in The Plant Journal and Plant Signaling & Behavior. The papers were co-authored by former post-doctoral researcher Soon Il Kwon, current graduate student Sang Hee Kim, current post-doctoral researcher Saikat Bhattacharjee, and former visiting scientist Jae-Jong Noh.


Contact: Kelsey Jackson
University of Missouri-Columbia

Related biology news :

1. Diminuendo -- New mouse model for understanding cause of progressive hearing loss
2. Optimum running speed is stride toward understanding human body form
3. Understanding soil carbon sequestration: New book presents key concepts
4. Understanding natural crop defenses
5. Biologist receives the 2008 AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award
6. Understanding phosphorus in soils is vital to proper management
7. Understanding extinct microbes may influence the state of modern human health
8. New technique is quantum leap forward in understanding proteins
9. Stowers Institutes Linheng Li Lab expands understanding of bone marrow stem cell niche
10. Understanding how oxidative stress impairs endothelial progenitor cell function
11. Caltech scientists engineer supersensitive receptor, gain better understanding of dopamine system
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Understanding plants' overactive immune system will help MU researchers build better crops
(Date:11/17/2015)... PARIS , November 17, 2015 ... November 2015.   --> Paris from ... --> DERMALOG, the biometrics innovation leader, has invented the ... and fingerprints on the same scanning surface. Until now two ... fingerprints. Now one scanner can capture both on the same ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... EASTON, Mass. , Nov. 17, 2015 ... a leader in the development and sale of broadly ... the worldwide life sciences industry, today announced it has ... of its $5 million Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing ... to $4,025,000.  One or more additional closings are expected ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... Mass. , Nov. 12, 2015  Arxspan ... Institute of MIT and Harvard for use of ... discovery information management tools. The partnership will support ... both biological and chemical research information internally and ... will be used for managing the Institute,s electronic ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE ... has adopted a stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) in ... operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 of the ... --> PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs could ... change" as defined in Section 382 of the Code. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Studies reveal the ... plaque and pave the way for more effective treatment for ...     --> --> ... health problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood about ... studies have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... , President and CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be ... in New York . ... the website approximately 5 minutes prior to the presentation ... of the presentation will be available on the website ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... A long-standing ... Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of ... with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November 24, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: