Crop Biotech Update

Monocot and Dicot Share Defense Components Against Fungal Disease

January 7, 2011

Scientist Matt Humphry of the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research and his team identified a set of genes regulated by a common protein that has been conserved in the genome of monocot and dicot plants since the evolutionary split that occurred approximately 200 million years ago. The defense components confer resistance to fungal powdery mildew disease, a common fungal disease among plants. They conducted a linear regression analysis using microarray data of the known defense components gathered from barley and Arabidopsis. Results showed that these defense components have coexpressed genes. In Arabidopsis, the coexpressed genes have a common element that is responsible for the defense components' coordinated function. Results of the study can be used to develop plants' inherent immunity.

Read the abstract at http://www.pnas.org/content/107/50/21896.abstract.