Biotech Updates

Two Genes Better than One for Important Plant Pest

February 4, 2011

Bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae, the causal organism affecting a number of important economic crops such as rice, corn, soybeans, tomatoes, cucumbers, many legumes, and most recently the chestnut trees in the UK, was found to have two genes that code for the ‘pili' – the needle-like structure that penetrate and inject a range of disease-causing proteins into plant cells. This finding by researchers from the Imperial College of London led by Jörg Schumacher, senior author of the study and published in Nature Communications is believed to be a unique evolutionary development for the bacteria's infection mechanism.

With this information, researchers will look deeper into the molecular mechanisms on crop pest/host interaction in the hope that a more targeted and sophisticated method of control can be developed in its range of hosts.

For more detais, see the original article at