Biotech Updates

MSU Researchers Find Out How Plants Decide to Go into Defense Mode

April 27, 2012

Michigan State University (MSU) found out how plants "decide" between growth and defense. This new research can help plants keep their balance of staying safe from peril and continuous growth. 

Sheng Yang He, MSU Plant Biology professor, and his team found the two inseparable hormones, gibberellins and jasmonates, that decide what to do in a time of crisis. Gibberellins control growth while jasmonates control defense. They discovered that these two hormones, together with some key components of growth and defense programs, communicate and coordinate with each other. Sheng Yang He said that now that they have known where one of the subtle molecular links between growth and defense is located, scientists will be able to figure out ways of separating the two hormones and work with each one at a time. If this is possible, crops with increased yield potential and better defense mechanisms can be developed.

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