Gene in Plant Immune Response Discovered
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Gene in Plant Immune Response Discovered

July 26, 2010
Plants use programmed cell death (PCD) to create a protective zone of dead cells (brown) around the site of pathogen invasion (purple) to prevent the pathogen from spreading. The dead plant cells do not support viral growth and lose their interconnectedness, thereby halting the pathogen's spread. Researchers recently discovered the gene essential to PCD, one of the plant kingdom's key immune responses.

A National Science Foundation-supported research from Yale University and his colleagues report finding a gene that normally propagates a "pro-survival" signal in plant tissue. Without that input, an alternate "pro-death" signal moves out of the infected areas and damages the rest of the plant.

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