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Gene Discovered is 'Firing Pin' for Plant Immunity
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: October 10, 2018 05:17AM

Plant cells identify pathogens and react to them by producing a burst of
reactive oxygen, which is toxic to bacteria or fungi. Cells around an
infected site will then go into programmed cell death to seal off the
disease. A research team from University of California, Davis (UC Davis) has
now identified a key step in how plant cells respond to pathogens and
identified a family of kinase enzymes that activate the enzymes that make
reactive oxygen.

The UC Davis team has now isolated an enzyme, SIK1, in Arabidopsis that is
considered the "firing pin" of plant immunity. SIK1 connects the receptors
which detect pathogens to the reactive oxygen that kills them. The
researchers found that when SIK1 was deleted, the plants were unable to make
enough reactive oxygen and were more susceptible to infections. The team is
now looking for homologs of SIK1 in crop plants. They want to know if
thegene can be tuned up to boost resistance to pathogens in crops, leading
to new treatments for plant diseases and breeding of crops that are more
resistant to infections.


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