Study unmasks key operatives in plant immunity battle

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Long before nations devised complex military strategies, plants had their own built-in systems for thwarting potential attacks by disease-causing microbes.

Two new players in this mutual seek-and-destroy struggle between the plant and microbial worlds have been identified by an international team of researchers, including a plant scientist at the University of California, Davis.

Findings from the study are published online today in the journal Science.

“In this study, we showed that a biochemical process known as tyrosine phosphorylation is important to the plant’s immune signaling system,“ said study co-author Benjamin Schwessinger, a Human Frontier Science Program postdoctoral fellow in the UC Davis Department of Plant Pathology. Schwessinger initiated the work when at The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, U.K.

“Furthermore, we demonstrated that a certain plant receptor that recognizes the presence of the Pseudomonas syringae bacterium also becomes the target for a counterattack when that bacterium attempts to fight back and suppress the plant’s immune system,” he said.

Plants’ innate, or built-in, immunity relies on the ability of molecular receptors on the surface of the plant cells to identify specific groups of molecules on the invading microbe, or pathogen. When a plant cell receptor recognizes such a group of molecules, it triggers the plant’s immune response to swing into action and battle the invading pathogen.

In this study, using the Arabidopsis plant as a model, the researchers showed for the first time that tyrosine phosphorylation is an important part of the “molecular code”  for how a plant immune receptor, known as EFR, signals the presence of the EF-TU protein on Pseudomonas syringae, a disease-causing bacterium that infects a wide range of plant species.

Attacking bacteria, not to be outwitted by the plant’s immune response, tend to launch something of a counter-offensive by injecting proteins inside the plant cell.

In this study, the researchers discovered that the Pseudomonas syringae bacterium delivers its counter-punch to the plant’s immune response in the form of an enzyme called HopAO1. The enzyme has been known to researchers for about a decade, but this study was the first to identify which molecules it targets inside the plant cell.

“In effect, the plant and the attacking bacteria battle to take control of the biochemical process that initiates the plant’s antibacterial immunity,” Schwessinger said.

Other researchers on this study were Alberto Macho, Vardis Ntoukakis, Cécile Segonzac, Sonali Roy, Jan Sklenar, Paul Derbyshire, Rosa Lozano-Durán, Frederikke Gro Malinovsky, Jacqueline Monaghan, Frank L. Menke and Cyril Zipfel,  all of the Sainsbury Laboratory, U.K.; Alexandre Brutus and Sheng Yang He, both of Michigan State University; and Man-Ho Oh of the University of Illinois, Urbana, and Chungnam National University, Korea.

Funding for the study was provided by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, European Research Council, United Kingdom Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Prev 1 2 Next All

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Portable Conveyors

Convey-all portable conveyors are designed to handle your crops gently and efficiently. We offer an extensive line of high capacity ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form