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Boosting Plant Immunity Sans Side Effects
Monday, 2014/05/12 | 09:17:54

A team of researchers from the University of Sheffield in the UK, The University of Western Australia, the University Jaume I in Spain and Utrecht University in The Netherlands has uncovered a mechanism which allows plants to better defend themselves against disease causing pathogens.


The research team identified the key receptor binding a chemical called BABA (β-aminobutyric acid), which is boosting plant immunity. BABA has long been known for its protective effects against devastating plant diseases, but it has not been widely used because of its undesirable side effects. They found the plant receptor binding BABA is an ‘aspartyl tRNA synthetase' (IBI1), a class of enzymes playing an important role in primary metabolism of all cells, but had never been linked to immune responses in plants. According to team leader Dr. Estrella Luna, binding of the chemical to this protein triggers a secondary function that primes the plant immune system against future attacks by pests and diseases. The study also revealed that the undesirable side effect of reduction in growth can be uncoupled from the beneficial immune reaction.


Read more about this research at: http://www.news.uwa.edu.au/201404296634/international/green-vaccination-boosting-plant-immunityy-without-side-effects.

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