Recent Posts

Review: Exchanges at the plant-oomycete interface that influence disease (Plant Physiol)

This is a great review by Judelson and Ah-Fong on the diverse signals that occur between plants and their oomycete pathogens. The authors start by describing the life- and infectivity-cycles of disease-causing oomycetes, including the familiar plant pathogens, "aggressive" Pythium and "stealthy" Phytophthora.…

Review: The plant immune system in heterogeneous environments (Curr Opin Plant Bio)

Nobori and Tsuda review how the plant immune system is able to function in heterogeneous environments through its properties of resilience, tunability and balance. They define a resilient system as one where “output remains stable even when part of the system is disabled.” Abiotic factors such as…

Structure and activation of a plant NLR resistosome ($) (Science)

The 2017 Chemistry Nobel Prize went to the developers of cryo-electron microscopy, and this method is transforming plant science as well as other life sciences. In a pair of back-to-back papers, Wang et al. used cryo-EM to examine how ZAR1, a CC-NLR protein [Coiled-coil (CC) nucleotide-binding (NB),…

Detection and stealth at the wall: glycosidases and glycans in flagellin peptide recognition ($) (Science)

Bacterial flagellin is a well-known microbial pattern that triggers plant immune responses. Flagellin is a glycosylated protein polymer. The immunogenic domain is buried within the protein structure as well as beneath a glycan layer. Buscaill et al. set out to identify how this immunogenic elicitor is…

Ca2+-dependent processing of immunomodulatory peptides ($) (Science)

Plants are sessile organisms that have evolved an extraordinary immune system to optimally adapt to the risky environment, which includes hazards such as insect chewing, weather damaging, and pathogen invasion. But the signaling mechanism of how the physical damage of cells triggers the intracellular…

Plant Physiology Focus issue on biotic stress

The April 2019 issue of Plant Physiology includes a set of papers addressing biotic interactions between plant and pathogens or pests. As the editors indicate, progress on this topic has been rapid and significant. Key topics explored in reviews and research articles include: the roles of plant hormones,…

Antagonistic responses to ‘symbiotic’ AM fungi in the non-host Arabidopsis thaliana ($) (New Phytol)

A strikingly vast array of phylogenetically distant plants are able to form intimate interactions with symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi for the mutually beneficial exchange of nutrients. Several years of intensive research have revealed the complex regulatory networks and genetic ‘toolkits’…

Retargeting of a plant defense protease by a cyst nematode effector ($) (Plant J)

The nematode infection process in plants involves secreted effector proteins that suppress the host defense mechanisms. However, the molecular interactions in which this is done is yet unclear. Here, Pogorelko et al. characterize the function of 4E02, an effector from the cyst nematode H. schachtii,…

BSL family members are employed by pathogen as “moles” in S. tuberosum (Plant Physiol)

To secure food availability for the world population, plant scientists study the interactions between crop species and pathogens. Plants have robust defense strategies that they employ when attacked. On the other hand, microbes have multiple strategies to manipulate host functions to suppress these defenses…