The discovery by French scientists that cotton plants produce a kind of ‘plant aspirin’ in response to bacterial infection could lead to new ways of fighting crop diseases.
Researchers led by the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD) found that salicylic acid — which has a chemical structure very similar to that of aspirin — and jasmonate acid are both released by cotton plants in response to infection by the bacterium Xanthomonas.
The two plant hormones play a central role in kick-starting the plant’s defensive reactions against the bacterium, which causes bacterial blight — a disease that can reduce cotton yields.
Katie Mantell | SciDev.Net
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