Columbia MO (SPX) Nov 16, 2010
Like us, plants rely on an immune system to fight off disease. Proteins that scout out malicious bacterial invaders in the cell and communicate their presence to the nucleus are important weapons in the plant's disease resistance strategy.
Researchers at the University of Missouri recently "tapped" into two proteins' communications with the nucleus and discovered a previously unknown level of cross talk. The discovery adds important new information about how plant proteins mediate resistance to bacteria that cause disease and may ultimately lead to novel strategies for boosting a plant's immune system.
Special proteins in the plant, called resistance proteins, can recognize highly specific features of proteins from pathogen, called effector proteins. When a pathogen is detected, a resistance protein triggers an "alarm" that communicates the danger to the cell's nucleus. The communication between the resistance protein and nucleus occurs through a mechanism called a signaling pathway.
"The signaling pathway is like a telephone wire that stretches between each resistance protein all the way to the nucleus," said Walter Gassmann, senior author of the study and associate professor of plant sciences in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center at the University.
"Until now, evidence suggested that, among certain classes of resistance proteins, these wires don't cross - one resistance protein can't hear what another one is saying."
But in a recent study, Gassmann and his MU colleagues - post-doctoral researchers Sang Hee Kim and Saikat Bhattacharjee, graduate students Fei Gao and Ji Chul Nam, and former undergraduate student Joe Adiasor - "tapped" into these lines and found evidence for cross talk between two different resistance proteins.
The discovery was made while studying another plant protein, SRFR1, which helps to moderate the immune response of the wild mustard plant Arabidopsis thaliana to the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. The researchers were interested in why removal of the SRFR1 gene resulted in a plant with an immune system that was always activated. They traced the effect back to expression of the resistance protein, SNC1.
"The connection between SRFR1 and SNC1 was somewhat surprising," said Gassmann. "We identified SRFR1 based on its effect on the plant immune response to the bacterial effector protein AvrRps4, which is usually detected by the resistance protein RPS4, not SNC1."
This class of plant resistance proteins has been thought to be highly specific detectors, meaning each member responds to a different effector protein.
"Based on our work, we think part of the answer is that both SNC1 and RPS4 physically associate with SRFR1. In other words, SRFR1 is where the SNC1 and RPS4 telephone wires get crossed."
The researchers tapped into this cross talk while studying temperature effects on resistance. They found that both proteins, SNC1 and RPS4, contribute to detection of AvrRps4 at 22 degrees Celsius, but only RPS4 does so at 24 degrees Celsius. Gassmann speculated that the temperature dependence may explain why this cross talk had not been previously observed.
"The discovery adds important new knowledge about the underlying mechanism of how plants fight off bacterial infection," said Gassmann, who is also a member of the University's Interdisciplinary Plant Group.
The new research was funded by the National Science Foundation and is reported in the November 4 issue of PLoS Pathogens.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
University of Missouri-Columbia
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology
Storm-hit St. Lucia banana growers need months to recover
Castries, Saint Lucia (AFP) Nov 15, 2010
The banana industry in Saint Lucia and the Windward Islands could need more than six months to fully recover from a hurricane that devastated the key export earner, officials said Monday. "As a country, we may be able to export bananas in May or June 2011," Saint Lucia Agriculture Minister Ezekiel Joseph told reporters following an official assessment of the damage by Hurricane Tomas, which ... read more
Satellites Tracking Mt Merapi Volcanic Ash Clouds|
Faster Flood Forecasting At SERVIR-Africa
Enhancing Sustainable Development Of Earth
Go For Getz And A South Pole Flyover
SES To Contribute To Galileo Operations
GPS IIF-1 Introduces A Host Of New Capabilities For Users
Lockheed Martin Delivers Key GPS III Test Hardware Ahead of Schedule
Few Americans using location-based services: Pew study
Tropical Forest Diversity Increased During Ancient Global Warming Event
New Discoveries Concerning Pre-Columbian Settlements In The Amazon
Brazil mulls land auction to beat logging
Footage shows land clearing threatens Indonesia tigers: WWF
BlueFire Renewables Receives Final Permits For Cellulosic Ethanol Facility
Strategic Alliance To Process Jatropha Seeds Into Sustainable Crude Oil
Statoil Now Blending Inbicon's Cellulosic Ethanol For Danish Drivers
Celanese Develops Advanced Technology For Production Of Industrial-Use Ethanol
US PV Market Has Incredible Upside To Growth Potential
PV Powerplants 2010 - USA Conference
Solergy Launches Next-Gen CPV With Record-Breaking Efficiency
PermaCity Solar Announces Approval Of Two New Patents
Chinese wind power producers plan Hong Kong IPOs: report
Global Warming Reduces Available Wind Energy
South Korea plans offshore wind project
Buoyant Times Ahead For Offshore Resource Assessments
China jails coal mine managers over deadly gas explosion
Twelve killed in China coal mine flood: state media
Colombia coal mining gets a timely boost
China mines to beef up safety after Chile rescue: official
China law enforcers ordered to make no-beating vow: report
Brother of jailed China Nobel winner calls for his release
China Falungong member given refugee status in S.Korea
Hong Kong's first green jail sparks controversy
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|