Diphthamide is an Achilles heel shared by both plants and animals

The biomolecule diphthamide is essential for the proper formation of proteins in cells. When humans are infected with diphtheria, diphthamide is altered by the diphtheria toxin so that life-threatening complications can arise ...

How plants' threat-detection mechanisms raise the alarm

New work led by Carnegie's Zhiyong Wang untangles a complex cellular signaling process that underpins plants' ability to balance expending energy on growth and defending themselves from pathogens. These findings, published ...

How invading pathogens switch off plant cells' defenses

Many disease-causing bacteria are able to inhibit the defense mechanisms in plants and thus escape dissolution by the plant cell, a process known as xenophagy. Animal and human cells have a similar mechanism whereby the cell's ...

How do water mold spores swim?

Oomycetes, also known as water molds, are pathogenic microorganisms that resemble fungi and are responsible for a group of diseases affecting several plant species. To reach and infect plants, the zoospores—i.e., self-propelled ...

Newly discovered protein in fungus bypasses plant defenses

A protein that allows the fungus which causes white mold stem rot in more than 600 plant species to overcome plant defenses has been identified by a team of U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service and ...

Understanding how plant diseases do their damage

An international team of scientists has used neutron reflectometry techniques to understand how disease-causing pathogens damage the cell membranes of plants.

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