International team including University of Maryland researchers discovers key immune system protein in plants.
Plants have a unique ability to safeguard themselves against pathogens by closing their pores—but until now, no one knew quite how they did it. Scientists have known that a flood of calcium into the cells surrounding the pores triggers them to close, but how the calcium entered the cells was unclear.
A new study by an international team including University of Maryland scientists reveals that a protein called OSCA1.3 forms a channel that leaks calcium into the cells surrounding a plant’s pores, and they determined that a known immune system protein triggers the process.
The findings are a major step toward understanding the defense mechanisms plants use to resist infection, which could eventually lead to healthier, more resistant and more productive crops. The research paper was published on August 26, 2020 in the journal Nature.
Continue reading at University of Maryland
Image via University of Maryland