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Plant Receptors for Pathogens


The research group headed by Professor Jonathan Jones at The Sainsbury Laboratory has discovered plant receptors carrying built-in decoys that detect pathogens and raise the cell's alarm during infection.

Pathogens target the plant's defense machinery to stop immune response. Plants have evolved to display these targets on receptors that are primed to set off their alarm system. When the pathogen binds, the receptor starts the process of shutting down the cell to contain the pathogen and stop it from spreading.

The research of Professor Jones' group shows one way in which plants perceive pathogens, which is essential to their immunity.

Professor Jones hopes that the group's discovery could lead to bioengineering new receptors carrying decoys to perceive and trigger a defense to virtually any pathogen. Professor Jones said, "This is a very exciting discovery.

It turns out as we survey the genomes of other plants we can see many more such "integrated decoy" domains associated with immune receptors, so we believe this observation will turn out to be of widespread significance."

Source: - (prepared by science and technology information center)