Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers examine plant's ability to identify, block invading bacteria

04.03.2010
Understanding how plants defend themselves from bacterial infections may help researchers understand how people and other animals could be better protected from such pathogens.

That's the idea behind a study to observe a specific bacteria that infects tomatoes but normally does not bother the common laboratory plant arabidopsis. Researchers hoped to understand how infection is selective in various organisms, according to a Texas AgriLife Research scientist.

Dr. Hisashi Koiwa collaborated with colleagues in Germany and Switzerland to examine the immune capabilities of different mutations of the arabidopsis plant. Their findings appeared in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

In this study, the team was trying to figure out how a plant defends itself rather than how it gets sick, said Koiwa, who provided about 10 different lines of mutant arabidopsis plants grown in his lab at Texas A&M University.

"By learning what is wrong with a sick plant," he said, "we can study how a plant can defend itself, what mechanisms it uses for protection."

The team had to examine the plants at the cellular level where molecules are busy performing different jobs.

To understand the process, one has to examine components such as "N-glycans, receptors and ligands," Koiwa said.

The N-glycan is a polysaccharide that is critical in protein folding, a natural process which if it becomes unstable leads to various diseases, Koiwa explained. A receptor is a protein decorated with N-glycans which awaits signals from the ligands that bind and activate receptor molecules.

In viewing this mechanism across various arabidopsis plants that had been mutated to achieve different N-glycan structures, the researchers found one particular N-glycan that was critical in making sure that the receptor molecules can recognize the targeted bacteria molecule, he said.

If that polysaccharide can recognize a pathogen, it can prevent infection thus making the plant immune to that disease, the scientists noted.

"The question is fundamental. Why are we healthy in an environment of so many different bacteria?" Koiwa asked. "Why can one pathogen infect one kind of organism and not others? In this case, the same bacteria normally infects tomato plants but not arabidopsis."

Koiwa said many researchers are studying the pathway, or molecular road, that a pathogen takes on its journey to infect another organism. They want to find what "gates" exist in an organism that prevent infection with the notion that the same blocks could be adapted in a susceptible organism to prevent disease.

He said eventually using this pathway to develop new plant varieties that do not allow pathogens inside the cells would be better than breeding lines that are merely "resistant" to diseases.

"In the case of resistance, a plant has to try to fend off an infection that has been let in," Koiwa explained. "But a properly working immunity system does not let the pathogen in, so the plant does not get sick in the first place."

Kathleen Phillips | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.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 >>>