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 Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>