Plants belonging to the Brassicaceae family such as cauliflower, broccoli,
cabbage, mustard, and Brussels sprout may have different tastes, but they
have a common enemy: white rust. One kind of white rust, caused by the
pathogen Albugo candida threatens cabbages. Though not actually a fungus, A.
candida acts like one and spreads under the right conditions of humidity and
temperature, eating up the nutrients of the plants it attacks.
A team of researchers from eight European universities and research centers
headed by Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich has identified four genes that are
resistant to A. candida. These genes are nucleotide-binding leucine-rich
repeat (NLR) immune receptor that was identified using Arabidopsis thaliana.
An additional gene was identified that confers resistance to an isolate of
A. candida race 9 that infects Brassica oleracea. The paper reports that
immunity conferred by NLR genes provides species-wide resistance to the