Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Poison digs its own grave

17.12.2004


Botrytis cinerea (grey mould) has a large arsenal of molecular pumps at its disposal to protect it against toxic substances such as antibiotics, plant defence compounds and fungicides. Dutch researcher Henk-jan Schoonbeek saw how the fungus started to pump out certain toxic substances within just 15 minutes.



Botrytis cinerea causes rot in fruit and vegetables and is therefore a major problem for growers in horticulture and viniculture. Unfortunately, it is scarcely affected by natural or synthetic protective compounds, as it uses minute protein pumps (so-called ABC transporters) to pump these back out again.

When the fungus comes into contact with toxic substances, these initially enter it unhindered. About 15 minutes later, an emergency mechanism starts up and the fungus secretes the toxic substances so that their concentration in the fungus falls below the lethal dose.


Schoonbeek studied the genes involved in the secretion of toxic substances by ABC transporters. He discovered that the activity of the pumps was partly controlled by the toxic substances. Upon entering the fungus, these stimulate the fungal DNA to produce certain proteins, which then immediately pump these substances out of the fungus.

The researcher established that this mechanism in B. cinerea is comparable to multiple drug resistance in humans. Multiple drug resistance is when cells that have been treated with one type of medicine, become resistant to a completely unrelated group of medicines. Transport proteins also play an important role in multiple drug resistance.

One of these ABC transporters is the protein BcatrB. This protein is involved in defending the fungus against many different toxic substances. For example, it is active against resveratrol, a plant defence compound from grapevines. Therefore the fungus can easily break through the defence lines of grape plants. Although antibiotic-producing bacteria are used to protect plants successfully against other pathogens, the phenazine antibiotics they contain cannot stop B. cinerea. This is because they also activate the production of the BcatrB protein and are therefore immediately pumped back out again. This new information is helpful in developing new strategies to control grey mould diseases.

The research was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Dr Henk-jan Schoonbeek | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl/

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>