Recent Posts

Resistant tomato restricts colonization and invasion by the pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum at four organismal levels (J Exp Bot)

Ralstonia solanacearum is a pathogenic bacterium that infects many important crop species, including tomato. Following invasion into the roots, the bacteria move upwards into the shoot and cause dramatic wilting. Previous studies have identified moderately and highly resistant lines. Here, Planas-Marquès…

Medicago-Sinorhizobium-Ralstonia  co-infection reveals legume nodules as pathogen confined infection sites developing weak defenses (Curr. Biol.)

The pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum enters roots through wounds and also at root tips. It can also infect legume nodules. Benezech et al. investigated how this infection occurs, and how it is affected by and affects nitrogen fixation. The authors found that nodules are as permissive of Ralstonia…

Perspective: Challenging battles of plants with phloem-feeding insects and prokaryotic pathogens (PNAS)

Much of our understanding of plant defense response is built upon the responses that occur in leaves. Many pathogens colonize the phloem system, which is both nutrient-rich and provides an easy conduit for spreading through systemically through the plant body. These phloem-inhabiting prokaryotic pathogens…

Phage combination therapies for bacterial wilt disease in tomato ($) (Nature Biotech)

Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. As agents that weaken or destroy pathogens, they have shown therapeutic promise in human and plant disease treatment. Wang et al. studied the effect on pathogenic Ralstonia solanacearum of different phages individually and in combinations in the rhizosphere…

Emergence of the Ug99 lineage of the wheat stem rust pathogen through somatic hybridization (Nature Comms)

The Ug99 strain of wheat stem rust pathogen Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt) emerged in Uganda in 1999 and presents a significant threat to global wheat production. Genetic analysis indicates it is distinct from other Pgt races. Li et al. set out to understand its origins. Puccinia graminis are…

Review: Ready-to-eat salad crops: A plant pathogen’s heaven (Plant Disease)

For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving next weekend, here’s an article full of fun facts to share over the salad. Gullino et al. describe the history of salad (mentioned by Virgil and Pliny) and the rapid growth in the prepared salad industry. They describe the challenge of growing and getting these…

Effector gene reshuffling involves dispensable mini chromosomes in wheat blast fungus (PLOS Genetics)

The emerging disease wheat blast is devastating and has the capacity to cause 100% yield loss. Wheat blast is caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae pathotype Triticum (MoT). This pathotype is distinct from most of the pathotypes that causes disease in other plants such as M. oryzae Oryza (MoO) in rice.…