Recent Posts

Gibberellin biosynthesis in bacteria: Still more convergent evolution ($)

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Gibberellin hormones were famously identified as the product of Gibberella fujikuroi, a fungal pathogen that stimulates host cell elongation, and then subsequently recognized as a hormone produced by plants as well. Fungi and plants produce gibberellins from distinct biochemical pathways, in an example…

Review: Intracellular innate immune surveillance devices in plants and animals ($)

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Cells recognize invaders through both cell-surface receptors and intracellular receptors, the latter of which can recognize the invader directly or indirectly, for example through its effects on host proteins. Intracellular surveillance proteins in animals and plants share a core domain, the nucleotide…

Bacteria establish an aqueous living space in plants crucial for virulence ($)

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Although it is widely accepted that high humidity has a strong influence on plant diseases of the phyllosphere (the above-ground portions of the plant), the molecular basis is not understood.  Xin et al. report that an important step in bacterial infection of the phyllosphere is a pathogen-driven…

Stimulation of sugar import for antibacterial defense ($)

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When villagers see the marauding hordes approaching, they secure their food sources. Similarly, when the cell-surface FLS2 receptor detects a bacterial pathogen, it (through its co-receptor BAK1) phosphorylates and stimulates the activity of a cell-surface sugar transporter (STP13), leading to the…

Review: Advances on plant-pathogen interactions from molecular through systems biology perspectives ($)

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In an interesting and accessible review, Peyraud et al. provide a big-picture view of how systems biology can be used to address plant-pathogen interactions. They describe the core interactions scaling from molecular to ecosystem / environment, and describe the different types of models that can…

Review: Applications of plant volatile-mediated signaling

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Smell is one of the many senses that insects use to locate the plants that they use as food sources. Plants have evolved ways to exploit insects’ sense of smell, for example by producing volatile compounds that attract pollinators. Pickett and Khan review plant volatile–mediated signals in terms…

Review: Programmed Cell Death in Development and Disease

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Programmed cell death (PCD) is an active process that occurs as part of normal development and also contributes to defense against pathogens. While there are many similarities in developmental PCD (dPCD) and pathogen-triggered PCD (pPCD), there are also differences. Huysmans et al. review and contrast…