The latest study published by Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany has identified natural cellular components that activate immune responses in plants.
Published in the journal ‘Science’, the research thoroughly studies the chemicals that are engineered by plants to act as tiny messengers for activating important defense control hubs.
The latest discoveries will enable plant breeders and scientists to enhance disease resistance among plants, especially many of the major agricultural species.
Imperative to note that in order to address the burgeoning population, which is estimated to add another 2 billion people to this planet over the next 20-30 years, will require the world food production to double by 2050.
Owing to the increasing focus on driving food production, boosting the yields of staple crops is a must.
However, if the agriculture sector plans on ramping up crop yield, it needs strategies to ensure the complete protection of plants by making them resistant to microscopic infectious agents and also implement environmentally safe strategies for food production.
The plant immune system plays a vital role in supporting extensive crop yield, quality, and life of plants overall.
The group of researchers have discovered two classes of molecules and demonstrated through the study their modes of action and triggering immune responses within plant cells.
Innovations like these consolidate the development of small bioactive molecules allowing scientists and farmers to manipulate and strengthen resistance among plants against destructive microbes.
Scientifically speaking, the main immune strategy implanted by plants relies on proteins, known as nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeat receptors, or NLRs. These NLRs are activated by disrupting the microorganism, which onsets protective immune responses in plants.
Ultimately, these immune responses facilitate a hypersensitive response that restricts the growth of the pathogen involved and kills the cells at the site of infection, mimicking the process of amputating a toe to protect the rest of the body.