Many parasites capture the cellular mechanism of their hosts and manipulate them to suit their life and needs.
These parasites force their plant hosts to provide adequate housing for their needs and abandon reproduction, but scientists do not know much about the molecular and mechanical details of this process.
And recently, revealed Research study It was published in the September 17 issue of Cell magazine about a new mechanism used by parasitic bacteria to slow the aging process in plants. This will pave the way for the protection of disease-prone crops.
And step For press release Published by the John Innes Center in the United Kingdom, commenting on the study; Researchers have identified a biomolecule produced by phytoplasma bacteria to manipulate plant growth; The production of this protein within the plant disrupts important regulatory growth factors, resulting in abnormal plant growth.
Phytoplasma belongs to the group of bacterial microorganisms, which are characterized by the ability to reproduce the growth of their host plants, and this group of bacteria often causes an event in trees called “witch brooms”, which have a large number of tree branches. Grow close to each other. Some.
These dense gatherings of branches are the result of the plant stopping its reproduction and becoming inactive. In addition, phytoplasma bacteria cause crop-destroying diseases such as aster yellow, resulting in significant loss of leaf and grain crops.
“Phytoplasma is a prime example of how genes can spread beyond organisms and affect the environment,” said Saskia Hoganhout (head of the study).
“Our findings shed light on the molecular mechanism that causes these phenotypes, which may help find solutions to key problems related to food production,” Hooganhout added. The team’s findings show that a bacterial protein called SAP05 makes extensive use of the plant’s cellular machinery for its host.
It is known that there is a cellular machine called a “proteasome” – the function of breaking down proteins that are damaged by plant cells or are no longer needed.
However, the “sub05” protein handles this cellular mechanism, which must dispose of the proteins needed to regulate growth and development by sending them to the “proteasome” without being naturally removed by the cell.
Therefore, the lack of proteins that regulate plant growth and development leads to reprocessing of plant growth in favor of bacteria; It slows down the aging process by growing many buds and plant tissues.
A promising strategy
The team conducted several genetic and biological experiments on “Mouse Ear Cress” (Arabidopsis taliana) plants, which helped to understand the comprehensive role of the “sub05” protein. At the same time “proteome”.
However, plant proteins necessary for growth and development bind to SAP 05, which is similar to some proteins found in animal cells; The team therefore studied the interaction of sub05 protein with proteins found in insects responsible for the transmission of bacteria from one plant to another. However, animal proteins were found to be structurally different from their plant counterparts, so they did not bind to sub05 protein.
The previous result helped identify two amino acids found in animal proteomes. The team observed that if these two amino acids were converted in the same way as the insects in the plant, the proteins that control growth and development would not bind to the “sub05” protein, and would not be abnormally removed. Inhibits the abnormal growth of the plant, and then the so-called “broom of witchcraft” form does not appear.
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