Protecting plants from stealthy diseases

MSU AgBioResearch scientist Sheng Yang He is part of a team of international scientists helping to protect plants against disease.

November 2, 2015 - Author: Layne Cameron

Sheng Yang He

Stealthy diseases sometimes trick plants by hijacking their defense signaling system, which issues an alarm that diverts plant resources for the wrong attack and allows the enemy pathogens to easily overrun plants.

A team of international scientists led by Michigan State University, however, is helping plants counter these attacks by boosting plants’ alert system. New research in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the team has engineered the receptor for jasmonate, a plant hormone that plays a central role in plant defense, to fend off such stealthy attacks from highly evolved pathogens.

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