Til’ Death Do Us Part - in the Plant World
News Apr 26, 2014
A landmark study from The University of Queensland has described the ultimate act of sacrifice and survival, in the plant world.
The research sheds light on how the plant immune system provides resistance against common plant diseases and has been published in Science.
Co-first author Dr Simon Williams from UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences said the international team’s unique findings describe how a pair of plant proteins fights back.
“When these proteins are disturbed by an infection, the infected cell dies allowing for the immunity of the entire plant,” Dr Williams said.
“In this remarkable process the entire plant becomes immune at the expense of few noble cells. We detail how plant protein immune receptors regulate each other and coordinate a response when threatened by infection.”
Research leader Professor Bostjan Kobe said that while many plant resistance genes have been identified in the past two decades, scientists have limited knowledge of how they work.
“It is vitally important that we understand how plant immune systems function because pre-harvest plant diseases account for up to 15 per cent of crop loss every year,” Professor Kobe said.
“This is a significant economic and environmental challenge for a world already under pressure to produce more food, fibre and biofuels.”
The study could also fuel future research in human health, as there is significant overlap between the mechanisms that plants and humans use to detect and respond to disease.
“To help our understanding of the plant interactions we used x-ray crystallography techniques to determine protein structures at near-atomic resolution at the Australian Synchrotron,” said Professor Kobe.
“We are particularly pleased as 2014 is the International Year of Crystallography and this project is a great example of how crystallography can contribute to diverse fields, including plant immunity.”
New Microscope Captures Detailed 3-D Movies of Cells Deep Within Living SystemsNews
Merging lattice light sheet microscopy with adaptive optics reveals the most detailed picture yet of subcellular dynamics in multicellular organisms.READ MORE
"Genetic Jenga" Helps Understand How Our Genes Control Our CellsNews
To fully understand how our cells work, we can't focus on just one gene, but must instead look at combinations of genes. Researchers have published a study which knocked out multiple genes, like removing bricks from a Jenga tower, to better understand how they work together.READ MORE
How Environmental Pollutants and Genetics Work Together in Rheumatoid ArthritisNews
It is well known that individuals with a particular version of human leukocyte antigen have an increased risk for rheumatoid arthritis, but there has been growing interest in the role of environmental pollutants. In a new mouse study, researchers probed the relationship between the two.READ MORE
Comments | 0 ADD COMMENT
World Congress on Plant Genomics and Plant Science 2018
Oct 15 - Oct 16, 2018
2nd International Conference and Exhibition on Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery
May 21 - May 23, 2018