Efforts to halt a fungus that deprives about 60 million people a year of food have led Purdue University scientists to discover the molecular machinery that enables the pathogen to blast its way into rice plants.
The fungus, Magnaporthe grisea, which is known as rice blast fungus, is the most deadly of the pathogens that attack rice, reducing yields by as much as 75 percent in infected areas. Learning how the fungus tricks rices natural defenses against pathogens to penetrate the plant is an important part of controlling the disease, said Jin-Rong Xu, a Purdue molecular biologist.
Xu, Xinhua Zhao, Yangseon Kim and Gyungsoon Park, all of Purdues Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, found that an enzyme is a key player in coordinating the fungus attack. The enzyme, called a pathogenicity mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase, flips the switch that starts the cellular communication necessary to launch the fungal invasion that kills rice plants or causes loss of grain.
Susan A. Steeves | EurekAlert!
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A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
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A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
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