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Spider mite herbivory induces an ABA-driven stomatal defense
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: May 10, 2024 03:11PM

Scientists have discovered that a drought stress hormone of plants is used
to block spider mites. Their findings may help with future crop breeding
programs that seek to improve broad-scale pest management.

Pests greatly affect the yield of crops, which causes plants to use defense
mechanisms against these pests. However, spider mite causes quick damage and
is hard to address because of its broad target range.

Researchers from Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP) and
Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU) used a Forster resonance
energy transfer (FRET)-based ABA biosensor (ABACUS2) that identifies small
changes in plant hormone concentrations. Their results showed that a hormone
associated with drought response, known as abscisic acid (ABA), closed the
entry gates of the Thale Cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) plant within 5 hours
of being attacked by spider mites. The closure of the entry gates, known as
stomata, hinders the feeding of the spider mites and reduces the leaf cell
damage. The optimum closure of stomata occurs within 24 to 30 hours.


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