Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plant immunity discovery boosts chances of disease-resistant crops

Date:
July 28, 2011
Source:
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Summary:
Researchers have opened up the black box of plant immune system genetics, boosting our ability to produce disease- and pest-resistant crops in the future.

Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have opened up the black box of plant immune system genetics, boosting our ability to produce disease- and pest-resistant crops in the future. The research is published this evening (28 July) in the journal Science.

Related Articles


An international consortium of researchers, including Professor Jim Beynon at the University of Warwick, has used a systems biology approach to uncover a huge network of genes that all play a part in defending plants against attacks from pests and diseases -- a discovery that will make it possible to explore new avenues for crop improvement and in doing so ensure future food security.

Professor Beynon said "Plants have a basic defence system to keep out potentially dangerous organisms. Unfortunately some of these organisms have, over time, evolved the ability to overcome plant defences and so plant breeders are always looking for new ways to catch them out. Understanding exactly how plant immunity works is key to making developments in this area."

Professor Beynon's team looked at downy mildew as an example of a plant disease. This is caused by mould-like organism called Hyaloperonospora parasitica, which, like many organisms that infect plants, produces proteins that it introduces into the plant to undermine its natural defences.

The team studied almost 100 different so-called effector proteins from Hyaloperonospora parasitica that are known to be involved in overcoming a plant's immune system. They were looking to see how each of these proteins has an effect through interaction with other proteins that are already present in a plant. They found a total of 122 plant proteins from the commonly-studied plant Arabidopsis thaliana that are directly targeted by the proteins from Hyaloperonospora parasitica.

Professor Beynon continued "This shows that there are many more plant proteins involved in immunity than we first thought. By studying the genes that give rise to these proteins we can start to identify key genetic targets for crop improvement."

The study has also identified many complex connections between the plant proteins suggesting that the network of activity is crucial in plant defences.

Professor Beynon concluded "Our discovery suggests that looking for single genes that confer resistance to pests and diseases is not going to be sufficient. Instead, researchers and breeders will have to work together to produce plants with robust networks of genes that can withstand attack."

Professor Douglas Kell, Chief Executive, BBSRC said "Understanding the fundamental bioscience of plants is critical if we are to develop new ways of producing sustainable, safe, and nutritious food for a growing population. This discovery opens up a whole realm of possibilities in research about plant-pathogen interactions. It also points the way to new ways of working in this area; with a complex network operating behind the scenes in plant immunity, there is a clear need to take a systems approach to future research."

The work was a collaboration between Pascal Braun and Marc Vidal of the Dana Faber Institute, Boston, and Jeff Dangl, University of North Carolina, USA. It also involved a European consortium including Jonathan Jones, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich; Guido van den Ackerveken, Utrecht University; and Jane Parker, Max Planck Institute, Cologne.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. M. S. Mukhtar, A.-R. Carvunis, M. Dreze, P. Epple, J. Steinbrenner, J. Moore, M. Tasan, M. Galli, T. Hao, M. T. Nishimura, S. J. Pevzner, S. E. Donovan, L. Ghamsari, B. Santhanam, V. Romero, M. M. Poulin, F. Gebreab, B. J. Gutierrez, S. Tam, D. Monachello, M. Boxem, C. J. Harbort, N. McDonald, L. Gai, H. Chen, Y. He, J. Vandenhaute, F. P. Roth, D. E. Hill, J. R. Ecker, M. Vidal, J. Beynon, P. Braun, J. L. Dangl. Independently Evolved Virulence Effectors Converge onto Hubs in a Plant Immune System Network. Science, 2011; 333 (6042): 596 DOI: 10.1126/science.1203659
  2. M. Dreze, A.-R. Carvunis, B. Charloteaux, M. Galli, S. J. Pevzner, M. Tasan, Y.-Y. Ahn, P. Balumuri, A.-L. Barabasi, V. Bautista, P. Braun, D. Byrdsong, H. Chen, J. D. Chesnut, M. E. Cusick, J. L. Dangl, C. de los Reyes, A. Dricot, M. Duarte, J. R. Ecker, C. Fan, L. Gai, F. Gebreab, G. Ghoshal, P. Gilles, B. J. Gutierrez, T. Hao, D. E. Hill, C. J. Kim, R. C. Kim, C. Lurin, A. MacWilliams, U. Matrubutham, T. Milenkovic, J. Mirchandani, D. Monachello, J. Moore, M. S. Mukhtar, E. Olivares, S. Patnaik, M. M. Poulin, N. Przulj, R. Quan, S. Rabello, G. Ramaswamy, P. Reichert, E. A. Rietman, T. Rolland, V. Romero, F. P. Roth, B. Santhanam, R. J. Schmitz, P. Shinn, W. Spooner, J. Stein, G. M. Swamilingiah, S. Tam, J. Vandenhaute, M. Vidal, S. Waaijers, D. Ware, E. M. Weiner, S. Wu, J. Yazaki. Evidence for Network Evolution in an Arabidopsis Interactome Map. Science, 2011; 333 (6042): 601 DOI: 10.1126/science.1203877
  3. C. R. Landry. A Cellular Roadmap for the Plant Kingdom. Science, 2011; 333 (6042): 532 DOI: 10.1126/science.1209753

Cite This Page:

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. "Plant immunity discovery boosts chances of disease-resistant crops." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728144731.htm>.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. (2011, July 28). Plant immunity discovery boosts chances of disease-resistant crops. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728144731.htm
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. "Plant immunity discovery boosts chances of disease-resistant crops." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728144731.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

Newsy (Mar. 29, 2015) A 508-million-year-old arthropod that swam in the Cambrian seas is thought to share a common ancestor with spiders and scorpions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

AFP (Mar. 29, 2015) Vietnam&apos;s drive to become the world&apos;s leading rice exporter is pushing farmers in the fertile Mekong Delta to the brink, say experts, with mounting costs to the environment. Duration: 02:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


First Large-Scale Map of a Plant's Protein Network Addresses Evolution, Disease Process

July 28, 2011 The first large-scale map of protein networks in a plant addresses longstanding questions about evolution, illuminates disease processes in ... read more

Scientists Map Attack Tactics of Plant Pathogens

July 28, 2011 Every year, plant diseases wipe out millions of tons of crops, lead to the waste of valuable water resources and cause farmers to spend tens of billions of dollars battling them. Now a new discovery ... read more

Largest-Ever Map of Plant Protein Interactions

July 28, 2011 Researchers have mapped and analyzed thousands of protein-to-protein interactions within the cells of Arabidopsis thaliana -- a variety of mustard plant that is to plant biology what the lab mouse is ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins