While crop diseases have devastating consequences on agriculture, causing losses of up to 30% in some crops, plants constantly evolve to maintain robust immune systems that allow them to perceive pathogens and develop defenses. One key player in this system is the plant cell wall, a complex structure that surrounds all plant cells. The plant cell wall is a dynamic structure modified by interactions with microbes and environmental stresses. These modifications alter the integrity of the cell wall and often activate plant immunity and disease resistance responses.
Scientists are always looking for ways to improve crop disease resistance by advancing their knowledge of the plant immunity system.
In a study published recently, a group of biologists discovered that cell wall extracts from immune active plants could be used by agriculture companies to develop sustainable treatments that help crops protect against pathogens and pests.
Antonio Molina and his research group at Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas in Spain aimed to understand the role of the cell wall in the regulation of plant resistance responses to pathogens.
To do that, a collection of mutants with alterations on their cell walls composition/structure were selected and their resistance to different pathogens analyzed.
"Our results support the potential use of formulations based on cell wall-derived molecules that trigger immune responses," explained Antonio Molina.
"The use of such formulations could present a simple, sustainable, and effective treatment to protect crops against losses."
The research focused on the Arabidopsis Response Regulators 6 (ARR6) gene, which has been shown to be involved in the responses mediated by the plant hormones known as cytokinins.
Molina and his colleagues showed that ARR6 is actually a regulator of cell wall composition and of the disease resistance responses of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana against different pathogens causing important crops diseases.
This discovery reinforces the role the plant cell wall in the modulation of specific immune responses.
"We have identified a pectin-enriched cell wall fractions of arr6 mutant that has an enhanced activity in triggering defense response in Arabidopsis plants," said Molina.
"This finding indicate that the cell walls of arr6 mutant have a differential composition than that of wild-type plants, and that arr6 walls might contain molecules which could contribute to the differential resistance response to fungi and bacteria observed in these plants. This points to an interesting, novel interaction between wall composition, innate immunity signaling and disease resistance."
Molina's research group was most surprised to find that the differential resistance responses activated in arr6 plants were not the "classical" disease resistant responses characterized so far, indicating that novel defensive mechanisms associated with alteration on cell wall composition will be discovered, like the immune responses described in their article.
Read more in "Arabidopsis Response Regulator 6 (ARR6) Modulates Plant Cell-Wall Composition and Disease Resistance," published in the MPMI journal.
About Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (MPMI) Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions® (MPMI) publishes fundamental and advanced applied research on the genetics, genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics of pathological, symbiotic, and associative interactions of microbes, insects, nematodes, or parasitic plants with plants.
About Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (CBGP)
The Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (CBGP) is a joint research centre of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), that is located in Madrid (Spain). CBGP (UPM-INIA) holds the recognition of Centre of Excellence Severo Ochoa.
Follow on Twitter @CBGP_Madrid and visit
Ashley Bergman Carlin | EurekAlert!
AI goes underground: root crop growth predicted with drone imagery
18.06.2020 | International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
New light for plants
09.06.2020 | ITMO University
Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.
Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...
A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...
Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"
The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...
With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams. Thanks to a special evaluation method based on artificial intelligence (AI), the detection process is completed in just 70 milliseconds.
Laser welding is a process suitable for joining metals and thermoplastics. It has become particularly well established in highly automated production, for...
A research team from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure of Dynamics (MPSD) and the University of Oxford has managed to drive a prototypical antiferromagnet into a new magnetic state using terahertz frequency light. Their groundbreaking method produced an effect orders of magnitude larger than previously achieved, and on ultrafast time scales. The team’s work has just been published in Nature Physics.
Magnetic materials have been a mainstay in computing technology due to their ability to permanently store information in their magnetic state. Current...
02.07.2020 | Event News
19.05.2020 | Event News
07.04.2020 | Event News
02.07.2020 | Materials Sciences
02.07.2020 | Information Technology
02.07.2020 | Event News