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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Identify Fungus' Mechanism to Hinder Plant Defense

July 10, 2013

A team of scientists from Wageningen University and Research Center (Wageningen UR) have discovered that the tomato fungus Cladosporium disables plant's ability to sense the fungus attack.  Cladosporium  perform this by enclosing chunks of chitin (a polysaccharide that allows plants to sense the presence of an intruder) in a protein that hides the chitin particles from the tomato plant. The protein, known as Ecp6 protein, seeks out these pieces of chitin and adheres to them which incapacitates the tomato plant to receive the signal to ramp up its activity, allowing the fungus to infect the plant without being noticed.

See Wageningen UR's news release at http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/news-wageningen-ur/Show/Fungus-covers-fragments-of-its-own-cell-wall-to-avoid-plant-defences.htm.