German researchers examining plants’ immune system

Share Adjust Comment Print

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, have now discovered that receptors in plant cells identify bacteria through simple molecular building blocks.

They thought they had discovered the plants’ immune response to harmful bacteria, but it was only the beginning.
“The immune system of plants is more sophisticated than we thought,” said Dr. Stefanie Ranf from the Chair of Phytopathology at the university.

When they delved into the constituents of the immune-response substance, they found it was two main things. They were wrong with their first guess and then found that the fatty-acids part is what does the work.

They are continuing their research in the belief that they will eventually find the genes responsible for producing these fatty acids and thus be able to provide plant breeders with information they can use to develop varieties resistant to harmful bacteria.