28-Million-Year-Old Gene Protects Plants Against CaterpillarsNovember 23, 2022
A study reports that the defense mechanisms plants use to recognize and respond to the caterpillar, a common plant pest, has arisen from a single gene that evolved over millions of years. The study also found that some plants, such as soybeans, have lost this protective gene over time and suggests that genetically engineering plants to reintroduce the gene could protect against crop failure.
The research team at the University of Washington looked at key evolutionary events that allowed plants to respond to the caterpillar. It has been known that several legume species, including mung beans and black-eyed peas, are uniquely able to respond to peptides that caterpillars produce in their mouths as they munch through plant leaves. The researchers looked at the genomes of these plants to see whether a common pattern recognition receptor called the Inceptin Receptor (INR) had changed over millions of years.
The researchers found that a single, 28-million-year-old receptor gene perfectly corresponds with plant immune response to the caterpillar peptides. They also found that among the descendants of the oldest plant ancestors that first evolved the receptor gene, a few species that could not respond to the caterpillar peptides had lost the gene.
For more details, read the article in eLife.
You might also like:
- Scientists Used CRISPR-Cas9 to Remove Caterpillar's Ability to Silence a Plant's Defense Alarm
- Research Shows Caterpillars Trick Corn Plants to Lower their Defenses
- Caterpillar Plague Could be Contained More Easily than Originally Thought
Biotech Updates is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. It is distributed for free to over 22,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in 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
- Codex Alimentarius Commission Adopts New Food Safety Standards
- Kenyans Need to Turn to GM Crops to Combat Drought
- 28-Million-Year-Old Gene Protects Plants Against Caterpillars
- Agronomists Find Wheat Varieties Resistant to Enzyme Depletion
- Philippines Celebrate 18th National Biotech Week
- ISAAA Inc., SEARCA Launches Policy Briefs on Philippine Biosafety Regulations As Part of the National Biotechnology Week Celebration
- EFSA GMO Panel Concludes GM Maize MON 87429 Safe as Conventional Counterpart
- Root Structure Mapped Out to Identify Components of Drought Stress Tolerance in Rice
Read the latest:
- Biotech Updates (March 29, 2023)
- Genome Editing Supplement (March 22, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (February 22, 2023)
Subscribe to BU: