Microbial Molecule Turns Plants Into Zombies: The Curse That Might Contain a Cure - SciTechDaily
Sep 19, 2021 1 min, 6 secs
September 18, 2021.

A newly discovered manipulation mechanism used by parasitic bacteria to slow down plant aging, may offer new ways to protect disease-threatened food crops.

Research from the Hogenhout group at the John Innes Centre and collaborators published in Cell, has identified a manipulation molecule produced by Phytoplasma bacteria to hijack plant development.

Phytoplasma bacteria belong to a group of microbes that are notorious for their ability to reprogram the development of their host plants.

This machinery, called the proteasome, usually breaks down proteins that are no longer needed inside plant cells.

SAP05 hijacks this process, causing plant proteins that are important in regulating growth and development, to effectively be thrown in a molecular recycling center.

Without these proteins, the plant’s development is reprogrammed to favor the bacteria, triggering the growth of multiple vegetative shoots and tissues and putting the pause on the plant aging.

Interestingly, SAP05 binds directly to both the plant developmental proteins and the proteasome.

The plant developmental proteins that are targeted by SAP05 are similar to proteins also found in animals.

Their research showed that if the plant proteins are switched to have the two amino acids found in the insect protein instead, they are no longer degraded by SAP05, preventing the ‘witches’ broom’ abnormal growth.

Hogenhout, 17 September 2021, Cell.

September 15, 2021

September 15, 2021

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September 14, 2021


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