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:2/8/2017)... 2017 Report Highlights The global ... $8.3 billion in 2016 at a compound annual growth ... Report Includes - An overview of the global market ... data from 2015 and 2016, and projections of compound ... the market on the basis of product type, source, ...
(Date:2/6/2017)... Feb. 6, 2017 According to Acuity ... driving border authorities to continue to embrace biometric ... are 2143 Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates and ... at more than 163 ports of entry across ... 2016 achieving a combined CAGR of 37%. APC ...
(Date:2/2/2017)...  EyeLock LLC, a market leader of iris-based identity ... What You Should Know About Biometrics in the Cloud ... is a growing concern. In traditional schemes, cryptography is ... authentication schemes such as username/password suffer from inherent weaknesses. ... an elegant solution to the problem of high-security user ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... and NEW YORK ... HIMSS, Lumeon , a leading digital health ... Telehealth), a provider of telemedicine and remote patient ... pathways for telemedicine reimbursements.  DN ... their patients, in real-time, extending consultations beyond a ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... portfolio to include an array of biochemical analyses critical for Lead Discovery. ... drive their hit-to-lead and SAR programs, including inhibitor potency and selectivity, mechanism of ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017  MIODx announced today that ... key immunotherapy technologies from the University of California, ... method to monitor a patient for response to ... CTLA-4.  The second license extends the technology with ... likely to have an immune-related adverse event (IRAE) ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 23, 2017  Seattle,s upscale Capitol Hill neighborhood, with its swanky ... for a head lice treatment salon to set up shop. ... restaurant and a French bistro on E Madison Ave, and ... just any old lice clinic, we pride ourselves on being ... release some of the stigma associated with lice. Everyone can ...
Breaking Biology Technology: