Biotech Updates

JIC Study on Rice Blast Pathogen Elucidates Plant-pathogen Co-evolution

July 11, 2018

John Innes Centre (JIC) researchers discovered how rice plants have evolved custom-built defense solutions against different variants of the rice blast pathogen. The results of the study are published in Nature Plants.

Rice blast pathogen destroys enough food to feed over 60 million people per year. The team, led by Prof. Mark Banfield, focused on rice immune receptor to study how it has evolved to recognize several versions of a pathogen effector protein, a molecule used by the pathogen to promote disease working as "molecular handshake". This recognition leads to the disease being stopped in its tracks.

According to the researchers, understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in plant immunity could lead to engineering disease resistance against multiple crop pathogens.

Read more from JIC and Nature Plants.