Researchers unravel plants' "cry for help" response in fighting disease

(Xinhua) 13:09, March 23, 2024

BEIJING, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers have recently revealed how plants assemble rhizosphere microbiomes through a "cry for help" mechanism to defend themselves from pathogen invasion, according to a report carried on Science and Technology Daily.

The discovery, made by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, was published in the Nature Communications journal.

Researchers used a series of modified nonpathogenic bacteria to simulate pathogen attacks. They found that these "mild" bacteria can trigger a "cry for help" response, leading plants to assemble multiple microbiomes around the narrow zone between their roots and the soil. The effect can even last for several planting cycles, providing long-lasting protection for plants, Science and Technology Daily reported on Friday.

They also found that when a plant sends out a "cry for help" signal, a microorganism known as Devosia can respond quickly and multiply in the plant's rhizosphere to defend it from pathogens.

A polypeptide component of Devosia can trigger further response and strengthen the interaction between plants and microorganisms. This interaction could be of great significance to the growth and health of plants.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liu Ning)


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