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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Solve Riddle of Plant Immune System

February 17, 2021
Lennart Mohnike collects leaf material from bacterially infected plants. Photo Source: University of Göttingen

An international research team led by the University of Göttingen studied the molecular mechanisms of plant immune system and was able to show the connection between a relatively unknown gene and resistance to pathogens.

The research team from Plant Responses To Eliminate Critical Threat (PRoTECT), an International Research Training Group (IRTG) founded in 2016 with the University of Göttingen and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver aimed to identify and describe a gene from a disease-resistant plant. The researchers observed that plants that do not possess this previously little-known gene strongly accumulate active acids and show a significantly increased resistance to pathogens. However, this resistance is accompanied by extremely reduced growth.

According to Professor Ivo Feußner from the Göttingen Centre for Molecular Biosciences (GZMB), they have succeeded in deciphering the molecular connection between the gene product and the inactivation of acids during normal plant growth. This understanding provides scientists with a promising approach to improving the natural resistance of crops. "The basic results can be used to help breeders isolate less susceptible plants," says Lennart Mohnike, first author of the study.

For more details, read the article on the University of Göttingen website.

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