Plant interaction with friendly bacteria gives pathogens their break

Nov 02, 2012

In two papers to be published in Current Biology, researchers from JIC and The Sainsbury Laboratory on the Norwich Research Park, and Rothamsted Research and the University of York identify genes that help plants interact with microbes in the soil.

Professor Giles Oldroyd of the John Innes Centre explains how plant roots form beneficial interactions with . Almost all plants associate with to help in the uptake of nutrients such as phosphate. Some plants, particularly legumes, also associate with bacteria that 'fix' atmospheric nitrogen into a form the plant can use as fertiliser.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

These two interactions are mediated within the plant by a common signalling pathway. The researchers have identified a specific mycorrhizal transcription factor. They also show how the signalling pathway has been recruited by , presenting a challenge to the plant. Its ability to form beneficial interactions can leave it vulnerable to invasion by pathogens.

Explore further: Scientists pinpoint gene for better rice

More information: Wang, E., Schornack, S., Marsh, J.F., Gobbato, E., Schwessinger, B., Eastmond, P., Schultze, M., Kamoun, S., and Oldroyd, G.E.D. (2012). A common signaling process that promotes mycorrhizal and oomycete colonization of plants. Curr. Biol. Published online November 1, 2012. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2012.09.043
Gobbato, E., Marsh, J.F., Vernie´ , T., Wang, E., Maillet, F., Kim, J., Miller, J.B., Sun, J., Bano, S.A., Ratet, P., et al. (2012). A GRAS-type transcription factor with a specific function in mycorrhizal signalling. Curr. Biol. Published online November 1, 2012. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub

Related Stories

Plants recognise pathogenic and beneficial microorganisms

Nov 01, 2012

Plant roots are surrounded by thousands of bacteria and fungi living in the soil and on the root surface. To survive in this diverse environment, plants employ sophisticated detection systems to distinguish pathogenic microorganisms ...

Recommended for you

Can gene editing provide a solution to global hunger?

5 hours ago

According to the World Food Program, some 795 million people – one in nine people on earth – don't have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That will only get worse with the next global food cris ...

Study on pesticides in lab rat feed causes a stir

Jul 02, 2015

French scientists published evidence Thursday of pesticide contamination of lab rat feed which they said discredited historic toxicity studies, though commentators questioned the analysis.

International consortium to study plant fertility evolution

Jul 02, 2015

Mark Johnson, associate professor of biology, has joined a consortium of seven other researchers in four European countries to develop the fullest understanding yet of how fertilization evolved in flowering plants. The research, ...

Making the biofuels process safer for microbes

Jul 02, 2015

A team of investigators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University have created a process for making the work environment less toxic—literally—for the organisms that do the heavy ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.