Recent Posts

Review: The plant immune system: From discovery to deployment

A review of the past 50 years of plant immunity by Jones, Staskawicz, and Dangl? Yes please! I particularly enjoy historical perspectives of a discipline, as they frame conceptual breakthroughs with the benefit of hindsight. As the article lays out, understanding the plant immune system benefitted greatly…

N6-methyladenosine mRNA modification dynamics in plant immunity

Prall et al. explore how post-transcriptional regulation of mRNA mediated by methylation at the N6 position of adenine affects plants preparedness and reactivity to pathogen stress.  Wil Prall and Brian Gregory, University of Pennsylvania Department of Biology  Background: To determine how plants…

Overcoming barriers to bioengineering new disease resistance

Bentham, De la Concepcion et al. fine-tuned a plant immune receptor pair to allow for engineering new specificities while avoiding autoactivation. https://doi.org/10.1093/plcell/koad204 Adam R Bentham, Mark J Banfield Department of Biochemistry and Metabolism, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research…

Jurassic ZAR; Insights from an atypically conserved immune receptor

It’s a well-established fact that some proteins are highly variable across species, and others such as histones hardly vary at all. Highly conserved proteins such as histones have very little wiggle room in their structure; small changes can lead to a loss of function. However, for some other proteins…

14-3-3 Proteins Function in Plant Immunity

Dong et al. investigate the role of 14-3-3 proteins in plant immunity in Arabidopsis. By Xiaojing Dong and Jian-Min Zhou Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China. Background: The plant innate immune system detects the presence of microbial…

Genome editing to enhance broad-spectrum disease resistance in rice without compromising yield

Developing broad-spectrum disease resistant crops without compromising the yield has been a persistent challenge in maintaining global food security. In a breakthrough study, Sha et al. developed a promising multi-pathogen resistant rice mutant that retains the crop’s yield, using forward genetic screen…

A Phytophthora effector targets nuclear transcriptional complexes in plant immunity

Qiu et al. reveal the role of a nuclear Phytophthora effector in suppressing plant immunity via interfering the formation of nuclear transcriptional complex, Plant Cell (2022). By Xufang Qiu, Liang Kong and Yuanchao Wang Background: To prevent infection, plants have evolved two layers of immunity,…

A cellular transporter controlling the uptake, effectiveness and side effects of chemicals that prime plant immunity

Tao et al. identify the transporter for beta amino acids that induce priming in plants. https://doi.org/10.1093/plcell/koac271 By Jurriaan Ton & Chia-Nan Tao, University of Sheffield Background: Specific chemicals can induce long-lasting disease resistance in plants. These chemicals act by…

Concerted expansion and contraction of immune receptor gene repertoires in plant genomes (Nature Plants)

Plant immunity is crucial for adaptation to pathogen attack and subsequent survival. Two systems support plant immunity. Cell-surface pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and prompt pattern-triggered immunity. Intracellular nucleotide-binding leucine-rich…