Discovery of ‘death switch’ mechanism in plants may yield stronger crops
- Chinese scientists have discovered a possible “death switch” mechanism in plant’s immune system that triggers infected cells to self-destruct, thus limiting the spread of the disease and keeping other parts of the plant healthy.
- This is as per the findings published in the journal ‘Science’.
- Research can lead to a new generation of disease-resistant crops that use significantly less pesticide and are more environmentally friendly.
- Plants also have a unique “lure and catch” immune response to deal with pathogens that have breached their cellular defence, but exactly how this worked remained unknown.
- A protein called AvrAC, which is produced by a bacterial pathogen that causes black rot on cabbage. The bacterium injects AvrAC into plant cells, where it acts as a “biochemical weapon” weakening the plant’s immune system.
- This allows other scientists to examine its composition and functions more closely.
- The ‘death switch’ is usually harmless to the plant because it only affects diseased cells, which are a tiny portion of the entire plant.
//php comments_template(); ?>