Finally, Proof of Weapons of Mass Destruction

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Science's STKE  07 Oct 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 203, pp. pe42
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.203.pe42


  • Fig. 1.

    Cell wall elicitors from soil-borne pathogenic fungi stimulate the release of a racemic mixture of catechins from the roots of the invasive alien, spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa). One enantiomer [(+)-catechin] inhibits the growth of soil-borne bacterial pathogens but not of fungal pathogens; the other [(–)-catechin] causes a massive release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and loss of membrane integrity in the plant species of the communities that spotted knapweed invades. The genes coding for the enzymes involved in catechin biosynthesis (CHS, chalcone synthase; DFR, dihydroflavonol reductase; LAR, leucoanthocyanidin reductase) represent targets for gene silencing and definite proof of the WOMD hypothesis. PAL, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase; 4CL, 4-coumarate CoA ligase.

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