by American Phytopathological Society
While crop diseases have devastating consequences on agriculture, causing losses of up to 30% in some crops, plants constantly evolve to maintain robust immune systems that allow them to perceive pathogens and develop defenses. One key player in this system is the plant cell wall, a complex structure that surrounds all plant cells. The plant cell wall is a dynamic structure modified by interactions with microbes and environmental stresses. These modifications alter the integrity of the cell wall and often activate plant immunity and disease resistance responses.
Scientists are always looking for ways to improve crop disease resistance by advancing their knowledge of the plant immunity system. In a study published recently, a group of biologists discovered that cell wall extracts from immune active plants could be used by agriculture companies to develop sustainable treatments that help crops protect against pathogens and pests.