Navigation Links
Plant Sacrifices Cells to Fight Invaders

Researchers recently discovered a gene essential to one of the plant kingdom's key immune responses--programmed cell death (PCD). Plants use PCD to create a protective zone of dead cells around the infection site to prevent the invading pathogen from spreading. But how the plants keep from killing themselves after they turn on the cell-suicide process was a mystery.

Now, in the May 20 issue of the journal Cell, Yale University's Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar and his colleagues report finding a gene that normally propagates a "pro-survival" signal in plant tissue. Without that input, an alternate "pro-death" signal moves out of the infected areas and damages the rest of the plant.

The group studied the plant-pathogen interactions in a type of tobacco easily infected with a virus in the laboratory. The model system allowed the researchers to inactivate, or silence, a gene important to the plant's PCD response. In particular, when the gene was inactivated, the plant was unable to regulate the extent of PCD, leading to excessive cell death throughout the plant.

When a plant pathogen makes contact with its intended target, the plant cells immediately launch a set of sophisticated molecular responses. Such defense mechanisms, including PCD, are similar to immune responses exhibited by animal cells when they are fighting a disease-causing agent.

In fact, PCD is a well-researched, yet still puzzling phenomenon that has been described in virtually all cell types, both plant and animal. PCD plays a critical role in many biological processes including immune system function, embryonic development and elimination of defective cells. When PCD malfunctions, or is undermined by pathogens, the effects can be devastating, resulting in diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's and AIDS.

Dinesh-Kumar, whose work is supported by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Plant Genome Research program, had to first develop the gene-silencing technique to adequa tely inactivate the plant genes. The new technique was a success for the field of plant research and is currently being used by several research groups. NSF's Jane Silverthorne said, "This is a great example of how NSF-supported tools are enabling important basic research in plants with a broader relevance to other organisms."


'"/>

Source:NSF


Related biology news :

1. Quantum Dots Research Leads to New Knowledge about Protein Binding in Plants
2. Plants, animals share molecular growth mechanisms
3. Plants respond similarly to signals from friends, enemies
4. Affymetrix Unveils Plans to Double Plant and Animal Genome Microarray Offering
5. Plant hemoglobins: Oxygen handlers critical for nitrogen fixation
6. Plants defy Mendels inheritance laws, may prompt textbook changes
7. Whats really making you sick? Plant pathologists offer the science behind Sick Building Syndrome
8. Breakthrough System for Understanding Ocean Plant Life Announced
9. Plant pathologists evaluate eco-friendly alternatives to methyl bromide
10. Study: Plants use dual defense system to fight pathogens
11. Plants discriminate between self and non self
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/15/2016)... Advancements in biometrics will radically ... wellbeing (HWW), and security of vehicles by ... vehicles begin to feature fingerprint recognition, iris ... monitoring, brain wave monitoring, stress detection, fatigue ... detection. These will be driven by built-in, ...
(Date:12/12/2016)... CLEVELAND , Dec. 12, 2016  Researchers ... commercial possibilities for graphene by combining the material ... a highly sensitive pressure detector able to sense ... of a small spider.  The ... and can be read here:  http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6317/1257 ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... According to a new market research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by ... Area, End User, And Region - Global Forecast to 2021", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... to USD 36.07 Billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... Hong Kong (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 ... ... management software, and NetDimensions, a global provider of learning and performance management systems ... for the mainland China market. , “In the life sciences industry, organizations must ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... 2017  On January 10 at the Medtech Showcase ... Healthcare Conference in San Francisco , ... spoke to pharmaceutical leaders and public and private investors ... down and destroy biofilms.  Biofilms are ... and the body,s immune system from eradicating chronic infections. Infections ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... ... Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Tibbetts Award ... economic or social impact […] and are considered the best of the best ...
(Date:1/14/2017)... , Jan. 13, 2017  The Alliance for Safe ... response to FDA final guidance on biologic ... continued leadership in emphasizing the importance of distinct naming ... aware of the benefits biosimilars will bring to patients, ... Yet the portion of the Guidance dealing with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: