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Phytophthora root rot in the NY Times: Building a Better Christmas Tree (2012)

Phytophthora root rot in the NY Times: Building a Better Christmas Tree (2012) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

Researchers are trying to develop a Christmas tree that will hold onto its needles from Thanksgiving to New Year’s — not a small thing in a $1 billion industry.

 

From Lab to Living Room - A typical tree can take from 8 to 12 years to go from seed cone to Christmas tree stand.

 

The largest Christmas tree operations harvest almost a million trees a year, transporting them by helicopter.

 

A small operation like Bell’s Christmas Tree Farm might raise fewer than 30,000 trees.

 

Before a seedling arrives at a small farm, it may have been germinated by a large forestry company and transplanted several times at a third nursery.

 

The quest for a better tree has led growers to look beyond favorites like blue spruce (below) to less common varieties, like Turkish, Korean and Canaan firs.

 

Organic Christmas tree farms are rare. Growers typically use pesticides to control blights like Phytophthora root rot and Swiss needle cast.

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PLOS Biology: In vivo insertion pool sequencing identifies virulence factors in a complex fungal–host interaction (2018)

PLOS Biology: In vivo insertion pool sequencing identifies virulence factors in a complex fungal–host interaction (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

Large-scale insertional mutagenesis screens can be powerful genome-wide tools if they are streamlined with efficient downstream analysis, which is a serious bottleneck in complex biological systems. A major impediment to the success of next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based screens for virulence factors is that the genetic material of pathogens is often underrepresented within the eukaryotic host, making detection extremely challenging. We therefore established insertion Pool-Sequencing (iPool-Seq) on maize infected with the biotrophic fungus U. maydis. iPool-Seq features tagmentation, unique molecular barcodes, and affinity purification of pathogen insertion mutant DNA from in vivo-infected tissues. In a proof of concept using iPool-Seq, we identified 28 virulence factors, including 23 that were previously uncharacterized, from an initial pool of 195 candidate effector mutants. Because of its sensitivity and quantitative nature, iPool-Seq can be applied to any insertional mutagenesis library and is especially suitable for genetically complex setups like pooled infections of eukaryotic hosts.

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bioRxiv: Symbiosis-related genes sustain the development of a downy mildew pathogen on Arabidopsis thaliana (2018)

bioRxiv: Symbiosis-related genes sustain the development of a downy mildew pathogen on Arabidopsis thaliana (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

The interfaces through which nutrients are transferred from plant cells to arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi and biotrophic hyphal pathogens are structurally similar. We report that in Arabidopsis thaliana, mutations in homologs of common symbiosis genes (CSGs) encoding homologs of the symbiosis receptor kinase SYMRK, the nucleoporins NUP133 and SEC13 or the cation channel POLLUX reduce the reproductive success of Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Hpa). Analysis of the multiplication of extracellular bacterial pathogens, Hpa-induced cell death or callose accumulation, as well as Hpa- or flg22-induced defence marker gene expression, did not reveal any traces of constitutive or exacerbated defence responses. We discovered an age-dependent, possibly senescence-related transition of haustorial shape that occurred significantly earlier and at higher frequency in the CSG mutants. These findings point to a function of the homologs of common symbiosis genes in haustorial maintenance thus revealing an overlapping gene set for the intracellular accommodation of hyphal symbionts and pathogens.

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Phys.org: Research shows first land plants were parasitised by microbes (2018)

Phys.org: Research shows first land plants were parasitised by microbes (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

Relationship between plants and filamentous microbes not only dates back millions of years, but modern plants have maintained this ancient mechanism to accommodate and respond to microbial invaders.

 

Why do some plants welcome some microbes with open arms while giving others the cold-shoulder? Like most relationships, it's complicated, and it all goes back a long way. By studying liverworts – which diverged from other land plants early in the history of plant evolution – researchers from the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge have found that the relationship between plants and filamentous microbes not only dates back millions of years, but that modern plants have maintained this ancient mechanism to accommodate and respond to microbial invaders.

 

Published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a new study shows that aggressive filamentous microbial (fungi-like) pathogens can invade liverworts and that some elements of the liverwort's response are shared with distantly related plants. The first author of the paper, Dr. Philip Carella, said the research showed that liverworts could be infected by the common and devastating microorganism Phytophthora: "We know a great deal about microbial infections of modern flowering plants, but until now we haven't known how distantly related plant lineages dealt with an invasion by an aggressive microbe. To test this, we first wanted to see if Phytophthora could infect and complete its life cycle in a liverwort."

 

"We found that Phytophthora palmivora can colonise the photosynthetic tissues of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha by invading living cells. Marchantia responds to this by deploying proteins around the invading Phytophthora hyphal structures. These proteins are similar to those that are produced in flowering plants such as tobacco, legumes or Arabidopsis in response to infections by both symbiont and pathogenic microbes."

 

These lineages share a common ancestor that lived over 400 million years ago, and fossils from this time period show evidence that plants were already forming beneficial relationships with filamentous microbes. Dr. Carella added: "These findings raise interesting questions about how plants and microbes have interacted and evolved pathogenic and symbiotic relationships. Which mechanisms evolved early in a common ancestor before the plant groups diverged and which evolved independently?"

 

Philip Carella et al. Phytophthora palmivora establishes tissue-specific intracellular infection structures in the earliest divergent land plant lineage, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1717900115

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Current Opinion Plant Biology: Leaf nodule symbiosis: function and transmission of obligate bacterial endophytes (2018)

Current Opinion Plant Biology: Leaf nodule symbiosis: function and transmission of obligate bacterial endophytes (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

Various plant species establish intimate symbioses with bacteria within their aerial organs. The bacteria are contained within nodules or glands often present in distinctive patterns on the leaves, and have been used as taxonomic marker since the early 20th century. These structures are present in very diverse taxa, including dicots (Rubiaceae and Primulaceae) and monocots (Dioscorea). The symbionts colonize the plants throughout their life cycles and contribute bioactive secondary metabolites to the association. In this review, we present recent progress in the understanding of these plant–bacteria symbioses, including the modes of transmission, distribution and roles of the symbionts.


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Cell Host & Microbe: The Monocot-Specific Receptor-like Kinase SDS2 Controls Cell Death and Immunity in Rice (2018)

• The RLK SDS2 positively regulates plant cell death and immunity in rice
• SDS2 phosphorylates E3 ligase SPL11, which in turn ubiquitinates SDS2 for degradation
• SDS2 phosphorylates receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases RLCK118
• RLCK118 interacts with and phosphorylates the NADPH oxidase OsRbohB

Programmed cell death (PCD) plays critical roles in plant immunity but must be regulated to prevent excessive damage. The E3 ubiquitin ligase SPL11 negatively regulates PCD and immunity in plants. We show that SPL11 cell-death suppressor 2 (SDS2), an S-domain receptor-like kinase, positively regulates PCD and immunity in rice by engaging and regulating SPL11 and related kinases controlling defense responses. An sds2mutant shows reduced immune responses and enhanced susceptibility to the blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Conversely, SDS2 over-expression induces constitutive PCD accompanied by elevated immune responses and enhanced resistance to M. oryzae. SDS2 interacts with and phosphorylates SPL11, which in turn ubiquitinates SDS2, leading to its degradation. In addition, SDS2 interacts with related receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases, OsRLCK118/176, that positively regulate immunity by phosphorylating the NADPH oxidase OsRbohB to stimulate ROS production. Thus, a plasma membrane-resident protein complex consisting of SDS2, SPL11, and OsRLCK118/176 controls PCD and immunity in rice.

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Science: A single fungal MAP kinase controls plant cell-to-cell invasion by the rice blast fungus (2018)

Science: A single fungal MAP kinase controls plant cell-to-cell invasion by the rice blast fungus (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

Blast disease destroys up to 30% of the rice crop annually and threatens global food security. The blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae invades plant tissue with hyphae that proliferate and grow from cell to cell, often through pit fields, where plasmodesmata cluster. We showed that chemical genetic inhibition of a single fungal mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase, Pmk1, prevents M. oryzae from infecting adjacent plant cells, leaving the fungus trapped within a single plant cell. Pmk1 regulates expression of secreted fungal effector proteins implicated in suppression of host immune defenses, preventing reactive oxygen species generation and excessive callose deposition at plasmodesmata. Furthermore, Pmk1 controls the hyphal constriction required for fungal growth from one rice cell to the neighboring cell, enabling host tissue colonization and blast disease.

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Annual Review of Phytopathology: The threat of plant pathogens as weapons against U.S. crops (2003)

Annual Review of Phytopathology: The threat of plant pathogens as weapons against U.S. crops (2003) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

The U.S. National Research Council (NRC) concluded in 2002 that U.S. agriculture is vulnerable to attack and that the country has inadequate plans for dealing with agricultural bioterrorism. This article addresses the vulnerability of U.S. crops to attack from biological weapons by reviewing the costs and impact of plant diseases on crops, pointing out the difficulty in preventing deliberate introduction of pathogens and discovering new disease outbreaks quickly, and discussing why a plant pathogen might be chosen as a biological weapon. To put the threat into context, a brief historical review of anti-crop biological weapons programs is given. The argument is made that the country can become much better prepared to counter bioterrorism by developing a list of likely anti-crop threat agents, or categories of agents, that is based on a formal risk analysis; making structural changes to the plant protection system, such as expanding diagnostic laboratories, networking the laboratories in a national system, and educating first responders; and by increasing our understanding of the molecular biology and epidemiology of threat agents, which could lead to improved disease control, faster and more sensitive diagnostic methods, and predictions of disease invasion, persistence, and spread following pathogen introduction.

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YouTube: CEND’s 10th Annual Symposium– “Confronting Persistent Epidemics”, January 12, 2018

YouTube: CEND’s 10th Annual Symposium– “Confronting Persistent Epidemics”, January 12, 2018 | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

10th Annual @CENDUCBerkeley Symposium: Confronting Persistent Epidemics. Blast Diseases Session.

 

Barbara Valent: Follow the Effectors: Understanding Ancient and Emerging Blast Diseases on Rice and Wheat https://youtu.be/QoIPSPaEPzY

 

Nick Talbot: Combating the Cereal Killer: Investigating the Biology of Rice Blast Disease https://youtu.be/9AA7akJ21ZI

 

Sophien Kamoun: BLASTOFF - Keeping Up With A Cereal Killer https://youtu.be/FCS5y_qX8n0

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PLOS Pathogens: The fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae suppresses innate immunity by modulating a host potassium channel (2018)

PLOS Pathogens: The fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae suppresses innate immunity by modulating a host potassium channel (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

Potassium (K+) is required by plants for growth and development, and also contributes to immunity against pathogens. However, it has not been established whether pathogens modulate host K+ signaling pathways to enhance virulence and subvert host immunity. Here, we show that the effector protein AvrPiz-t from the rice blast pathogen Magnaporthe oryzaetargets a K+ channel to subvert plant immunity. AvrPiz-t interacts with the rice plasma-membrane-localized K+ channel protein OsAKT1 and specifically suppresses the OsAKT1-mediated K+ currents. Genetic and phenotypic analyses show that loss of OsAKT1 leads to decreased K+ content and reduced resistance against M. oryzae. Strikingly, AvrPiz-t interferes with the association of OsAKT1 with its upstream regulator, the cytoplasmic kinase OsCIPK23, which also plays a positive role in K+ absorption and resistance to M. oryzae. Furthermore, we show a direct correlation between blast disease resistance and external K+ status in rice plants. Together, our data present a novel mechanism by which a pathogen suppresses plant host immunity by modulating a host K+ channel.

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#RFBellagio Twitter Archive: Building resilience against crop diseases: A global surveillance system, February 2018

The conference on “Building resilience against crop diseases: A global surveillance system” is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and will be held Feb. 12-16, 2018, at The Bellagio Center in Lake Como, Italy. Simone Staiger, Head of Knowledge Management and Learning at CIAT, is facilitating the meeting.

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Molecular Plant Pathology: Cassava brown streak disease: historical timeline, current knowledge and future prospects (2017)

Molecular Plant Pathology: Cassava brown streak disease: historical timeline, current knowledge and future prospects (2017) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

Cassava is the second most important staple food crop in terms of per capita calories consumed in Africa and holds potential for climate change adaptation. Unfortunately, productivity in East and Central Africa is severely constrained by two viral diseases: cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and cassava brown streak disease (CBSD). CBSD was first reported in 1936 from northeast Tanzania. For approximately 70 years, CBSD was restricted to coastal East Africa and so had a relatively low impact on food security compared with CMD. However, at the turn of the 21st century, CBSD re-emerged further inland, in areas around Lake Victoria, and it has since spread through many East and Central African countries, causing high yield losses and jeopardizing the food security of subsistence farmers. This recent re-emergence has attracted intense scientific interest, with studies shedding light on CBSD viral epidemiology, sequence diversity, host interactions and potential sources of resistance within the cassava genome. This review reflects on 80 years of CBSD research history (1936–2016) with a timeline of key events. We provide insights into current CBSD knowledge, management efforts and future prospects for improved understanding needed to underpin effective control and mitigation of impacts on food security.

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Nature Genetics: Wheat receptor-kinase-like protein Stb6 controls gene-for-gene resistance to fungal pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici (2018)

Nature Genetics: Wheat receptor-kinase-like protein Stb6 controls gene-for-gene resistance to fungal pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

Deployment of fast-evolving disease-resistance genes is one of the most successful strategies used by plants to fend off pathogens1,2. In gene-for-gene relationships, most cloned disease-resistance genes encode intracellular nucleotide-binding leucine-rich-repeat proteins (NLRs) recognizing pathogen-secreted isolate-specific avirulence (Avr) effectors delivered to the host cytoplasm3,4. This process often triggers a localized hypersensitive response, which halts further disease development5. Here we report the map-based cloning of the wheat Stb6gene and demonstrate that it encodes a conserved wall-associated receptor kinase (WAK)-like protein, which detects the presence of a matching apoplastic effector6,7,8 and confers pathogen resistance without a hypersensitive response9. This report demonstrates gene-for-gene disease resistance controlled by this class of proteins in plants. Moreover, Stb6 is, to our knowledge, the first cloned gene specifying resistance to Zymoseptoria tritici, an important foliar fungal pathogen affecting wheat and causing economically damaging septoria tritici blotch (STB) disease10,11,12.

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mBio: The Blast Fungus Decoded: Genomes in Flux (2018)

mBio: The Blast Fungus Decoded: Genomes in Flux (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

Plant disease outbreaks caused by fungi are a chronic threat to global food security. A prime case is blast disease, which is caused by the ascomycete fungus Magnaporthe oryzae (syn. Pyricularia oryzae), which is infamous as the most destructive disease of the staple crop rice. However, despite its Linnaean binomial name, M. oryzae is a multihost pathogen that infects more than 50 species of grasses. A timely study by P. Gladieux and colleagues (mBio 9:e01219-17, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01219-17) reports the most extensive population genomic analysis of the blast fungus thus far. M. oryzae consists of an assemblage of differentiated lineages that tend to be associated with particular host genera. Nonetheless, there is clear evidence of gene flow between lineages consistent with maintaining M. oryzae as a single species. Here, we discuss these findings with an emphasis on the ecologic and genetic mechanisms underpinning gene flow. This work also bears practical implications for diagnostics, surveillance, and management of blast diseases.

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bioRxiv: BED-domain containing immune receptors confer diverse resistance spectra to yellow rust (2018)

bioRxiv: BED-domain containing immune receptors confer diverse resistance spectra to yellow rust (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

Crop diseases reduce wheat yields by ~25% globally and thus pose a major threat to global food security. Genetic resistance can reduce crop losses in the field and can be selected for through the use of molecular markers. However, genetic resistance often breaks down following changes in pathogen virulence, as experienced with the wheat yellow (stripe) rust fungus Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (PST). This highlights the need to (i) identify genes that alone or in combination provide broad-spectrum resistance and (ii) increase our understanding of the underlying molecular mode of action. Here we report the isolation and characterisation of three major yellow rust resistance genes (Yr7, Yr5, and YrSP) from hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum), each having a distinct and unique recognition specificity. We show that Yr5, which remains effective to a broad range of PST isolates worldwide, is allelic to YrSP and paralogous to Yr7, both of which have been overcome by multiple PST isolates. All three Yr genes belong to a complex resistance gene cluster on chromosome 2B encoding nucleotide-binding and leucine-rich repeat proteins (NLRs) with a non-canonical N-terminal zinc-finger BED domain that is distinct from those found in non-NLR wheat proteins. We developed and tested diagnostic markers to accelerate haplotype analysis and for marker-assisted selection to enable the stacking of the non-allelic Yr genes. Our results provide evidence that the BED-NLR gene architecture can provide effective field-based resistance to important fungal diseases such as wheat yellow rust.

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bioRxiv: NRG1 is required for the function of the TIR-NLR immune receptors Roq1 and RPP1 in Nicotiana benthamiana (2018)

bioRxiv: NRG1 is required for the function of the TIR-NLR immune receptors Roq1 and RPP1 in Nicotiana benthamiana (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

The plant immune system involves a large family of nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) intracellular immune receptors. These immune receptors often function to directly or indirectly mediate the perception of specific pathogen effector proteins secreted into the cell. Activation of these immune receptors typically results in activation of the immune system and subsequent suppression of pathogen proliferation. Although many examples of NLR receptors are known, a mechanistic understanding of how receptor activation ultimately leads to an immune response is not well understood. A subset of the NLR proteins contain a TIR domain at their N terminus (TNL). One such TNL, the N gene, was previously shown to depend on a non-TIR NLR protein, N requirement gene 1 (NRG1) for immune function. We tested additional NLR proteins in Nicotiana benthamiana for dependency on NRG1. We found that two additional TIR-NLR proteins, Roq1 and RPP1, also require NRG1 but that two coiled-coil NLR proteins, Bs2 and Rps2, do not. This finding suggests that NRG1 may be a conserved component of TNL signaling pathways.

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Libération: Semences autochtones : la Tunisie en prend de la graine / Native Seeds: Tunisia Takes Lesson (2018)

Libération: Semences autochtones : la Tunisie en prend de la graine / Native Seeds: Tunisia Takes Lesson (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

[English translation]

 

While improved wheat seeds, massively imported in the 1980s, are caught up by diseases, traditional varieties are resisting.

Wearing a wool sweater, eyes narrowed by the wind, Nabil Ben Marzouk contemplates his army: one hectare of "chili", indigenous seed of durum wheat, lost in the middle of Mount Lansarine at some 360 meters altitude and 60 kilometers west of Tunis. He does not cultivate the "karim", the so-called improved high yield variety, because created in Mexico, in a laboratory of the International Center for Improvement of Corn and Wheat (Cimmyt). At the beginning of the 1980s, in the middle of a green revolution, the Tunisian authorities favored the establishment of karim for the production of couscous and pasta. The National Institute of Agricultural Research of Tunisia (INRAT) estimated in 2016 that karim represented 40% of the land sown to durum wheat.

 

"Biskri, mahmoudi [other indigenous varieties], chili symbolize both Tunisia and the flag. Nobody would dare make our colors disappear. But that's exactly what happens with our wheat, "says Nabil Marzouk. The sixty-year-old remembers when, as a child, his father and the other grain men brought donkey sacks of harvested wheat back to the immobilized combine because they could not get on the steep fields. If he cannot win this war, Nabil Ben Marzouk, whose left arm sports a valiant tattoo "I continue", resists. With eight other local farmers, he created an association, Amazir, which produces over ten hectares of semolina and bulgur from ancestral seeds and sold to Italy.

 

Falling yields

 

As time passes, improved varieties such as karim are less and less resistant to fungal diseases (rust and septoria), which can reduce production by 20-40%. They are also struggling to adapt to more and more frequent droughts. The vast majority of the 850 000 hectares of durum wheat is not irrigated. As a result, in bad years, karim yields drop to 5 quintals (500 kg) per hectare, compared to 40 to 60 on average. "Me, I always make 15 quintals per hectare whatever the hazards and without additional water, pesticide or herbicide", prides Nabil Ben Marzouk.

 

Aware of the benefits of indigenous varieties, the National Genebank (BNG), which is responsible for the conservation of the genetic diversity of the agricultural heritage, launched in 2010 an in situ culture program. Producers are offered a bag of 50 kilos of native seed. In exchange, they promise to return the same amount at the end of the harvest. In 2012, the institution received more than 132,000 euros from FAO, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, to develop this project. Some 81 farmers are currently cultivating 38 traditional seeds, covering an area of 100 hectares.

 

Enhancement

 

"I was surprised to see cereal farmers so receptive. Some remembered their father who used these seeds, others had lost a lot after a bad harvest and they were curious to try them, "says Amine Slim, program manager at the BNG, who benefits from his field visits to find ancient varieties that remain unknown. Many farmers continue to grow traditional varieties for home consumption. "When Amine came to see us, we did not need his bags," recalls Nabil Ben Marzouk. We gave him our seeds so he can keep them. "

 

Thanks to this approach, the NBG has seen, among other things, that indigenous wheat semolina has a better protein content than that of improved varieties, 17% compared to 12% on average. The original varieties also produce more straw, which is used to feed livestock or is resold in the form of boots. But these specificities are not recognized by the National Office of Cereals, the main outlet for producers, who buys the crops at a fixed price, 25.40 euros the quintal. Aboriginal durum would sell twice as much among connoisseurs and export if such an industry were developed.

 

At the Ministry of Agriculture, the goal remains self-sufficiency - current production reaches 70% of needs - leaving little room for “chili” and its sisters. "This is a niche production that could be encouraged by establishing a separate subsidiary, which would add premium to the selling price," says Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane, deputy director of cereals at the Directorate General of Agricultural Production. But farmers need to first come together to be identified.

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Current Opinion Plant Biology: Extracellular vesicles as key mediators of plant–microbe interactions (2018)

Current Opinion Plant Biology: Extracellular vesicles as key mediators of plant–microbe interactions (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it
• Plants produce extracellular vesicles (EVs) in response to infection.
• Recent advances in EV purification are now revealing the contents of plant EVs.
• Plant EVs are enriched in stress-response proteins and signaling lipids.
• EVs contain transporters for antimicrobial compounds such as glucosinolates.
• Indirect evidence suggests that EVs may mediate inter-kingdom RNA interference.

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are lipid compartments capable of trafficking proteins, lipids, RNA and metabolites between cells. Plant cells have been shown to secrete EVs during immune responses, but virtually nothing is known about their formation, contents or ultimate function. Recently developed methods for isolating plant EVs have revealed that these EVs are enriched in stress response proteins and signaling lipids, and appear to display antifungal activity. Comparison to work on animal EVs, and the observation that host-derived small interfering RNAs and microRNAs can silence fungal genes, suggests that plant EVs may also mediate trans-kingdom RNA interference. Many fundamental questions remain, however, regarding how plant EVs are produced, how they move, and if and how they are taken up by target cells.

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Storify: #ECFG14 14th European Conference on Fungal Genetics, 25-18 February, 2018

Storify: #ECFG14 14th European Conference on Fungal Genetics, 25-18 February, 2018 | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it
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MPMI: The ELR-SOBIR1 complex functions as a two-component RLK to mount defense against Phytophthora infestans (2018)

MPMI: The ELR-SOBIR1 complex functions as a two-component RLK to mount defense against Phytophthora infestans (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it
The ELICITIN RESPONSE (ELR) protein from Solanum microdontum can recognize INF1 elicitin of Phytophthora infestans and trigger defense responses. ELR is a receptor-like protein (RLP) that lacks a cytoplasmic signaling domain and is anticipated to require interaction with a signaling-competent receptor-like kinase (RLK). SUPPRESSOR OF BIR1-1 (SOBIR1) has been proposed as a general interactor for RLPs involved in immunity and as such, is a potential interactor for ELR. Here we investigate whether SOBIR1 is required for response to INF1 and resistance to P. infestans and whether it associates with ELR. Our results show that virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of SOBIR1 in Nicotiana benthamiana leads to loss of INF1-triggered cell death and increased susceptibility to P. infestans. Using genetic complementation, we found that the kinase activity of SOBIR1 is required for INF1-triggered cell death. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed that ELR constitutively associates with potato SOBIR1 in planta, forming a bi-partite receptor complex. Upon INF1 elicitation, this ELR-SOBIR1 complex recruits SOMATIC EMPBRYOGENESIS RECEPTOR KINASE 3 (SERK3) leading to downstream signaling activation. Overall, our study shows that SOBIR1 is required for basal resistance to P. infestans and for INF1-triggered cell death, and functions as an adaptor kinase for ELR.

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PLOS Pathogens: Tricked or trapped—Two decoy mechanisms in host–pathogen interactions (2018)

PLOS Pathogens: Tricked or trapped—Two decoy mechanisms in host–pathogen interactions (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

Antagonistic interactions between hosts and pathogens frequently result in arms races. The host attempts to recognise the pathogen and inhibit its growth and spread, whereas the pathogen tries to subvert recognition and suppress host responses. These antagonistic interactions drive the evolution of ‘decoys’ in both hosts and pathogens. In host–pathogen interactions, the term decoy describes molecules that mimic a component at the host–pathogen interface that is manipulated during infection. Decoys undergo the same manipulation as the component they mimic, but they serve the opposite role, either by preventing manipulation of the component they mimic or by triggering a molecular recognition event. At least three different types of decoy have been defined, described in detail below. However, these different decoy models cause confusion on how they function mechanistically. Here, we discuss the three different types of decoys with examples and classify them according to two distinct mechanisms.

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Tweet from David Cooke‏ @Llewelyn68: update on Phytophthora infestans in the UK (2018)

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Annual Reviews of Virology: Cassava Mosaic and Brown Streak Diseases: Current Perspectives and Beyond (2018)

Annual Reviews of Virology: Cassava Mosaic and Brown Streak Diseases: Current Perspectives and Beyond (2018) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it

Cassava is the fourth largest source of calories in the world but is subject to economically important yield losses due to viral diseases, including cassava brown streak disease and cassava mosaic disease. Cassava mosaic disease occurs in sub-Saharan Africa and the Asian subcontinent and is associated with nine begomovirus species, whereas cassava brown streak disease has to date been reported only in sub-Saharan Africa and is caused by two distinct ipomovirus species. We present an overview of key milestones and their significance in the understanding and characterization of these two major diseases as well as their associated viruses and whitefly vector. New biotechnologies offer a wide range of opportunities to reduce virus-associated yield losses in cassava for farmers and can additionally enable the exploitation of this valuable crop for industrial purposes. This review explores established and new technologies for genetic manipulation to achieve desired traits such as virus resistance.

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CGSpace: Defeating cassava witches’ broom: a cartoon guide for extension workers and farmers in South East Asia (2015)

CGSpace: Defeating cassava witches’ broom: a cartoon guide for extension workers and farmers in South East Asia (2015) | Plants and Microbes | Scoop.it
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