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Crop Biotech Update

Gene Discovery Could Pave Way for Disease Resistant Crops

November 7, 2018

Scientists from The University of Edinburgh have discovered a gene that could help develop disease-resistant crops. The scientists studied how plants produce nitric oxide when they are under attack from bacteria or viruses. Nitric oxide accumulates in plant cells and triggers a response from the plant's immune system.

The research team used Arabidopsis to study the genes that were triggered as nitric oxide levels rose. They found that a previously unknown gene – called SRG1 – is rapidly activated by nitric oxide and is also triggered during bacterial infection. Further studies showed that SRG1 activates the plant's defense mechanism by limiting the activity of genes that suppress the immune response. They also found that nitric oxide regulates immune response, which ensures that the plant's defense system does not over-react.

For more details, read the news article from The University of Edinburgh.