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MU researchers identify key plant immune response in fight against bacteria
Date:12/12/2011

r multiple sentinels against each pathogen in order to keep plant diseases from spreading. If we can identify the actual targets in the plant, like EDS1, and manipulate these genes in key crops, we could extend the planting cycles for a longer period of time. We're still a long way from application in the field; however, this addition could ultimately produce more food."

While genetically modified plants still cause controversy, Gassmann believes that assisting plants with disease resistance derived from nature is better than the use of fungicides. Gassmann also studies how grape production could be improved by using genes from the Missouri Norton grape, which resists powdery mildew, in an effort to alleviate chemical use.

"If we understand the deeper level of plant immunity, we can develop a smarter way of breeding plants that are generally resistant to devastating diseases," Gassmann said.

Gassmann's paper, "Pathogen effectors target Arabidopsis EDS1 and alter its interactions with immune regulators," has been accepted by the journal Science. Co-authors at the University of Missouri include post-doctoral researchers Saikat Bhattacharjee and Sang Hee Kim, who has since moved to Indiana University, and undergraduate researcher Morgan Halane from Sedalia, MO. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation.


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Contact: Christian Basi
BasiC@missouri.edu
573-882-4430
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

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