Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Aggressive fungal pathogen causes mold in fruits, vegetables

Date:
October 3, 2013
Source:
University of California - Riverside
Summary:
A research team has discovered the mechanism by which an aggressive fungal pathogen infects almost all fruits and vegetables. The team discovered a novel virulence mechanism of Botrytis cinerea, a pathogen that can infect more than 200 plant species, causing serious gray mold disease on almost all fruits and vegetables that have been around, even at times in the refrigerator, for more than a week.

The fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea causes mold on strawberries.
Credit: University of California, Riverside

A research team led by a molecular plant pathologist at the University of California, Riverside has discovered the mechanism by which an aggressive fungal pathogen infects almost all fruits and vegetables.

Related Articles


The team discovered a novel "virulence mechanism" -- the mechanism by which infection takes place -- of Botrytis cinerea. This pathogen can infect more than 200 plant species, causing serious gray mold disease on almost all fruits and vegetables that have been around, even at times in the refrigerator, for more than a week.

Study results appear in the Oct. 4 issue of the journal Science.

Many bacterial, fungal and oomycete pathogens deliver protein effectors -- molecules the pathogens secrete -- into the cells of hosts to manipulate and, eventually, compromise host immunity.

The new study represents the first example of a fungal pathogen delivering RNA effectors, specifically small RNA effector molecules, into host cells to suppress host immunity and achieve infection of the host plant.

"To date, almost all the pathogen effectors studied or discovered have been proteins," said lead author Hailing Jin, a professor of plant pathology and microbiology. "Ours is the first study to add the RNA molecule to the list of effectors. We expect our work will help in the development of new means to control aggressive pathogens."

Small RNAs guide gene silencing in a wide range of eukaryotic organisms. In the case of Botrytis cinerea, small RNAs silence the expression of host defense genes, resulting in the host plant cells being less able to resist the fungal attack. The process is similar to how protein effectors weaken host immunity in the case of most pathogens.

"What we have discovered is a naturally-occurring cross-kingdom RNAi phenomenon between a fungal pathogen and a plant host that serves as an advanced virulence mechanism," Jin said.

RNA interference or RNAi is a conserved gene regulatory mechanism that is guided by small RNAs for silencing (or suppressing) genes.

Next, Jin and colleagues plan to continue investigating if the novel mechanism they discovered also exists in other aggressive pathogens.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Riverside. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Weiberg, M. Wang, F.-M. Lin, H. Zhao, Z. Zhang, I. Kaloshian, H.-D. Huang, H. Jin. Fungal Small RNAs Suppress Plant Immunity by Hijacking Host RNA Interference Pathways. Science, 2013; 342 (6154): 118 DOI: 10.1126/science.1239705

Cite This Page:

University of California - Riverside. "Aggressive fungal pathogen causes mold in fruits, vegetables." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131003162951.htm>.
University of California - Riverside. (2013, October 3). Aggressive fungal pathogen causes mold in fruits, vegetables. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131003162951.htm
University of California - Riverside. "Aggressive fungal pathogen causes mold in fruits, vegetables." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131003162951.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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:

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