Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protecting crops from pests, disease

Date:
April 30, 2014
Source:
University of Sheffield
Summary:
A key receptor binding BABA chemical boosting plant immunity has been identified by researchers. BABA has been known for protecting plants against disease, but has so far not been widely used because of side effects. Findings from this study have the potential to offer more durable crop protection.

A team of international researchers has uncovered a mechanism by which plants are able to better defend themselves against disease-causing pathogens.

The work, led by Dr Jurriaan Ton and Dr Estrella Luna at the University of Sheffield, has identified the key receptor binding a chemical called BABA (β-aminobutyric acid) which is boosting plant immunity.

BABA has long been known for its protective effects against devastating plant diseases, such as potato blight, but has so far not been used widely in crop protection because of undesirable side effects.

"We have found that the plant receptor binding BABA is an 'aspartyl tRNA synthetase' which we have called IBI1. This class of enzymes play a vital role in primary metabolism of all cells, but had never been linked to immune responses in plants," Dr Luna said.

"Binding of the chemical to this protein triggers a secondary function that 'primes' the plant immune system against future attacks by pests and diseases.

Dr Ton added: "Plant immunity that is controlled by a single resistance gene, on which most conventional breeding programs are based, is comparably easy to overcome by a pathogen.

"By contrast, priming of multi-genic immunity by BABA is difficult to break, thus offering more durable crop protection."

Dr Oliver Berkowitz, a Research Associate in the ARC Centre for Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and the School of Plant Biology at the University of Western Australia was also involved in the research.

"Importantly, our study also revealed that the undesirable side effect of this vaccination, a reduction in growth, can be uncoupled from the beneficial immune reaction," Dr Berkowitz said.

"Since plant immunisation by BABA is long-lasting, primed crops would require fewer applications of fungicides, thereby increasing sustainability of crop protection. Furthermore, immune priming boosts so-called 'multi-genic' resistance in plants."

Although their research has been performed in a weed called 'Arabidopsis thaliana', the work horse of plant geneticists, the team is confident that their discovery can be used for the protection of crops from their enemies. Proof-of-concept experiments have already shown that BABA is detected in a similar manner by tomato plants.

The research, which has been published in the international journal Nature Chemical Biology, also involved scientists from the University Jaume I in Spain and Utrecht University in The Netherlands.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Estrella Luna, Marieke van Hulten, Yuhua Zhang, Oliver Berkowitz, Ana Lσpez, Pierre Pιtriacq, Matthew A Sellwood, Beining Chen, Mike Burrell, Allison van de Meene, Cornι M J Pieterse, Victor Flors, Jurriaan Ton. Plant perception of β-aminobutyric acid is mediated by an aspartyl-tRNA synthetase. Nature Chemical Biology, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.1520

Cite This Page:

University of Sheffield. "Protecting crops from pests, disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430112206.htm>.
University of Sheffield. (2014, April 30). Protecting crops from pests, disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430112206.htm
University of Sheffield. "Protecting crops from pests, disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430112206.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) — The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) 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:
from the past week

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