Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How cell suicide protects plants from infection

13.06.2005


A protective zone of dead cells (brown) around a virus invasion (purple) halts the spread of virus. Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller, NSF


Researchers at Yale have identified a gene that regulates the major immune response in plants, programmed cell death (PCD), according to a recent report in the journal Cell.

To protect themselves from viruses, plants create a zone of dead cells around an infection site that prevents the infection from spreading. Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar, associate professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale and his colleagues discovered how the plants keep from killing themselves after they turn on the cell-suicide PCD process.

Dinesh-Kumar first developed a technique for silencing or inactivating plant genes -- a technique that is now used by several research groups. His group studies the interaction between plants and viruses using tobacco as a model system.



They identified and silenced a "pro-survival" gene, BECLIN-1, that is important in the PCD response. When BECLIN-1 is active, infection is localized to a small number of cells that later die and form discrete brown lesions on the leaves. When the gene is inactivated, the plant can no longer regulate PCD, leading to cell death throughout the leaf and plant.

PCD has been described in virtually all cell types, both plant and animal. It is an important aspect of many biological processes including immune system function, embryonic development and elimination of defective cells. Failure of PCD can result in devastating diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and AIDS.

"This work gives us a better understanding of how plants fend off microbial attacks through carefully controlled destruction of infected cells," said James Anderson, of the Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). "Like other studies carried out in model organisms, these findings shed light on similar processes that occur in mammals, and may eventually be used to better human health."

Janet Rettig Emanuel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.yale.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular Force Sensors
20.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

nachricht Foster tadpoles trigger parental instinct in poison frogs
20.09.2017 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>