Researchers solve riddle of plant immune system

February 16, 2021

How do plants build resilience? An international research team led by the University of Göttingen studied the molecular mechanisms of the plant immune system. They were able to show a connection between a relatively unknown gene and resistance to pathogens. The results of the study were published in the journal The Plant Cell.

Scientists from "PRoTECT" - Plant Responses To Eliminate Critical Threats - investigated the molecular mechanisms of the immune system of a small flowering plant known as thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana). PRoTECT is an International Research Training Group (IRTG) founded in 2016 with the University of Göttingen and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The aim of the study was to identify and describe a specific gene of a particularly disease-resistant plant. The team observed that plants that do not possess this previously little known gene strongly accumulate active acids. In addition, these plants show a significantly increased resistance to pathogens. However, this resistance is accompanied by extremely reduced growth.

"We have succeeded in deciphering the molecular connection between the gene product and the inactivation of the acids during normal plant growth," says Professor Ivo Feußner from the Göttingen Centre for Molecular Biosciences (GZMB). Understanding this interaction provides scientists with a promising approach to improving the natural resistance of crops. "The basic results can be used to help breeders isolate less susceptible plants," says Lennart Mohnike, first author of the study. "This offers scientists an important way to increase food security and could lead to reduced pesticide use."
-end-
Original publication: Mohnike, et al. The glycosyltransferase UGT76B1 modulates N-hydroxy-pipecolic acid homeostasis and plant immunity. The Plant Cell (2021). Link: https://academic.oup.com/plcell/advance-article/doi/10.1093/plcell/koaa045/6080805

Contact:

Professor Ivo Feussner
University of Göttingen
Department for Plant Biochemistry
Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 11, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 551 39 25743
Email: ifeussn@uni-goettingen.de

Lennart Mohnike
University of Göttingen
Department for Plant Biochemistry
Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 11, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)551 39 28651
Email: lennart.mohnike@uni-goettingen.de

University of Göttingen

Related Immune System Articles from Brightsurf:

How the immune system remembers viruses
For a person to acquire immunity to a disease, T cells must develop into memory cells after contact with the pathogen.

How does the immune system develop in the first days of life?
Researchers highlight the anti-inflammatory response taking place after birth and designed to shield the newborn from infection.

Memory training for the immune system
The immune system will memorize the pathogen after an infection and can therefore react promptly after reinfection with the same pathogen.

Immune system may have another job -- combatting depression
An inflammatory autoimmune response within the central nervous system similar to one linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) has also been found in the spinal fluid of healthy people, according to a new Yale-led study comparing immune system cells in the spinal fluid of MS patients and healthy subjects.

COVID-19: Immune system derails
Contrary to what has been generally assumed so far, a severe course of COVID-19 does not solely result in a strong immune reaction - rather, the immune response is caught in a continuous loop of activation and inhibition.

Immune cell steroids help tumours suppress the immune system, offering new drug targets
Tumours found to evade the immune system by telling immune cells to produce immunosuppressive steroids.

Immune system -- Knocked off balance
Instead of protecting us, the immune system can sometimes go awry, as in the case of autoimmune diseases and allergies.

Too much salt weakens the immune system
A high-salt diet is not only bad for one's blood pressure, but also for the immune system.

Parkinson's and the immune system
Mutations in the Parkin gene are a common cause of hereditary forms of Parkinson's disease.

How an immune system regulator shifts the balance of immune cells
Researchers have provided new insight on the role of cyclic AMP (cAMP) in regulating the immune response.

Read More: Immune System News and Immune System Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.