by American Phytopathological Society
When a plant senses an invading pathogen, it activates a molecular signaling cascade that switch on its defense mechanisms. One such mechanism involves sacrificing host cells to the pathogen. This is a tightly controlled process that involves the work of plant proteins to ensure that the sacrificial cells are only killed if the pathogen is attacking. This process, called the cell death response, ensures that only a few host cells die.
Tomatoes employ this method when they are invaded by a bacterial pathogen known as Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, which causes speck disease. Scientists understand how the tomato recognizes this pathogen and know many of the plant proteins that are involved in the signaling cascade, but until recently they did not know what linked these two processes, a mystery that has been around for decades.
Read on: https://phys.org/news/2019-12-discovery-protein-insight-long-standing-immunity.html