Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.

Subscribe

Sci. Signal., 8 March 2011
Vol. 4, Issue 163, p. ec71
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.4163ec71]

EDITORS' CHOICE

Plant Biology Break It Down, Sweep It Out

Pamela J. Hines

Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA

Why do some bacteria and viruses cause disease on certain plant species but not on others? Fan et al. analyzed the resistance mechanisms that keep some strains of Pseudomonas syringae from infecting the plant Arabidopsis. The analysis pointed to a three-gene bacterial operon, sax. Analysis of the plant defense compounds identified an isothiocyanate, a breakdown product of aliphatic glucosinolates, as the key. Similar compounds can also contribute to defenses against insect herbivores. It seems that bacteria can cause the plant to release these defensive compounds. In turn, successful bacterial pathogens use the sax operon to evade the plant’s defenses by producing an efflux system that pumps the toxic agent out of the bacteria.

J. Fan, C. Crooks, G. Creissen, L. Hill, S. Fairhurst, P. Doerner, C. Lamb, Pseudomonas sax genes overcome aliphatic isothiocyanate–mediated non-host resistance in Arabidopsis. Science 331, 1185–1188 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: P. J. Hines, Break It Down, Sweep It Out. Sci. Signal. 4, ec71 (2011).


To Advertise     Find Products


Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882