Protein Discovery Reveals How Fungi Bypasses Plant DefensesApril 27, 2022
A research team led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and Washington State University (WSU) found that the Sclerotinia sclerotiorum fungus uses a protein to bypass the natural defenses of plants and cause extensive rot in hundreds of broad leaf plant varieties.
According to Weidong Chen, corresponding author of the paper published in Nature Communications, Sclerotinia causes stem rot on more than 600 plant species, including peas, lentils, canola, potatoes, soybeans, and many other broad leaf crops. Plants rot when a pathogen degrades their cell walls, breaking down the plant by secreting chemicals called polygalacturonases (PG). In 1971, it was discovered that plants protect themselves using an inhibitor protein called PGIP. Since that discovery, scientists have wondered how certain pathogens, such as the Sclerotinia fungus, get around the inhibitor protein to cause extensive rot.
Chen and his colleagues discovered that a protein secreted by Sclerotinia cells, called SsPINE1, inactivates a plant's defenses. To prove that SsPINE1 allowed Sclerotinia to bypass plant defenses, the team deleted the protein in fungi in the lab, which dramatically reduced its impact.
“It's exciting that we found this new protein,” said Wei Wei, a WSU post-doctoral researcher and first author of the paper. “We hope that this helps increase resistance to fungal infections in plants around the world.”
For more details, read the news article in WSU Insider.
You might also like:
- Gene-edited Canola Shows Resistance to White Mold
- Researchers Show How Fungal Pathogen Disables Plant Defense Mechanism
- White Rot Fungus Boosts Ethanol Production from Corn Stalks, Cobs and Leaves
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. The CBU is distributed for free to over 23,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in agricultural biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- Scientists Resurrect Ancient Rubisco to Improve Photosynthesis
- Protein Discovery Reveals How Fungi Bypasses Plant Defenses
- ARS Scientists to Make Salads Healthier
- MIT Scientists Seek to Develop Self-fertilizing Crops, Combat Climate Change
- Biotechnology and Regulation in the Philippines
- GE Poplar Trees Help Fight Climate Change
Plant Breeding Innovations
- Belgium Grants Permits for New Field Trials of 3 Genome-Edited Maize
- Gene Editing Tool Enables A to G Base Conversion in the Mitochondria
Read the latest:
- Crop Biotech Update (November 23, 2022)
- Genome Editing Supplement (November 23, 2022)
- Gene Drive Supplement (October 26, 2022)
Subscribe to CBU: