Biotech Updates

Scientists Find a Gene for Boosting Plant Pest Resistance

May 29, 2013

Plants lack the ability to move away from environmental stresses such as pests and pathogens. Thus, they evolved to have complex immune systems to protect themselves from such harm. Recent studies have shown that plant hormones known as jasmonates play an important role in such kind of defense, as well as in plant growth. Researcher Po Hu of Tsinghua University in China and colleagues discovered a gene (JAV1) in the jasmonate pathway that is involved only in defense and not in plant development.

According to Hu's findings, plants build up jasmonates during insect attack or pathogen infestation. This triggers degradation of the JAV1 protein. Upon degradation, defensive gene expression is activated and elevate resistances against biotic stress.

This study explains the molecular mechanisms involved when plants use jasmonate signals to protect themselves from biotic stresses.

Read the abstract at