Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method to enhance disease resistance in plants.
Plants survive pathogen attack by using various defense strategies including the induction of pathogenesis-related (PR) genes. After an initial local infection, systemic acquired resistance (SAR) occurs which induces a set of PR genes, leading to enhanced resistance against a broad spectrum of pathogens. Constitutively active defense responses, however, waste energy and resources and lead to undesirable consequences such as dwarf plants.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method that enhances disease resistance in plants by overexpression of NH3 polypeptide. Treatment in transgenic rice plants displayed enhanced induction of pathogen resistance genes without constitutively activating defense responses. Bacterial growth was reduced 10-fold in the transgenic plants and they exhibited higher sensitivity to benzothiadiazole and INA chemical treatment. This invention will make the use of chemical inducers more effective and reduce the amount of chemicals needed to achieve desired yields.
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