Plant biology

Help or Hinder?

Science's STKE  19 Aug 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 196, pp. tw327-TW327
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.196.tw327

Plants respond to pathogen-induced damage by producing callose, which has long been assumed to be important in protecting the plant from further damage caused by opportunistic infections at the wound site. However, Nishimura et al. now present paradoxical evidence indicating that a lack of callose synthesis can actually render plants less susceptible to disease. It appears that somehow the callose synthesis pathway interferes with another plant defense pathway, the salicylic acid signaling pathway.

M. T. Nishimura, M. Stein, B.-H. Hou, J. P. Vogel, H. Edwards, S. C. Somerville, Loss of a callose synthase results in salicylic acid-dependent disease resistance. Science 301, 969-972 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]