Recent Posts

A moonlighting kinase induces immune responses in rice and Arabidopsis ($) (Plant Physiol.)

Bacterial infections are a serious issue for crop plants and it is thus imperative to understand the mechanisms employed by plants to develop resistance against pathogens. Malukani et al. have identified a receptor kinase in rice, WALL-ASSOCIATED KINASE-LIKE 21 (OsWAKL21.2) that perceives pathogen-induced…

Review: Evolution of virulence in rust fungi — multiple solutions to one problem (COPB)

Rust fungi are a diverse group (more than 7800 species) of phytopathogenic fungi that cause considerable economic loss. (Coincidently, I’m writing on Robigalia, the Roman “anti-rust” festival, which dates from before we understood that microbes, not gods, cause disease). Figurero et al. have written…

How plants keep their microbiota healthy (Nature)

The large apoplastic intercellular space of plant leaves creates nutrient-rich niches for microbial colonization. To date, whether and how plants control the composition of leaf microbiota is poorly understood. Chen et al. reported that the Arabidopsis quadruple mutant (min7fls2efrcerk1 or mfec)…

CsIVP functions in vasculature development and downy mildew resistance in cucumber (PLOS Biol)

High yielding crops are often less resistant to pathogens and vice versa, suggesting that there is an underlying mechanism co-regulating development and disease resistance in plants. Yan et al. identified a transcription factor in cucumber (CsIVP) that regulates vascular development and resistance to…

How Marchantia polymorpha avoids bug bites (bioRxiv)

Plants took hundreds of million years to evolve from aquatic to land environments. Biotic and abiotic stress adaptation contributed to the transition. In this preprint, Romani et al. elucidated functions of the transcription factor CLASS I HOMEODOMAIN LEUCINE-ZIPPER (C1HDZ) in the early land plant Marchantia…

Formation of NB-LRR receptor ZAR1 resistome in vivo ($) (Mol. Plant)

To fight against pathogenic microbes,plants have evolved intracellular nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat (NB-LRR) receptors, known as NLRs, to monitor pathogen effector proteins and trigger robust immune responses. ZAR1 is a canonical NLR, and a forms a multimeric resistosome complex in vitro…

Hybrid autoimmunity and a plant resistosome complex ($) (Cell Host Microbe)

Hybrid necrosis occurs when the progeny of a cross between two different plants show widespread cell death. It can be caused by autoactivation of nucleotide-binding and leucine rich repeat domain (NLR) proteins, intracellular immune receptors that play a central role in plant resistance to diverse pathogens.…

Mildew Locus O facilitates colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in angiosperms (New Phytol.)

In plants, disease resistance genes typically act in a dominant way – the presence of a resistance allele, even a single copy, is enough to confer resistance. The barley gene Mildew Resistance Locus O (MLO1) is different, as it acts in a recessive way; loss-of-function mlo1 plants are resistant to…

Damage-gated immune responses to microbes (Cell)

Plants are surrounded by diverse microbes and must avoid mounting an immune response against innocuous microbes, while properly activating defense against invading pathogens. As the initial plant-microbe contacts happen in a limited number of cells, understanding spatially-resolved plant immune responses…