Tag Archives: plant pathogen

The Hero Within?

File:Smallville Finale Superman shirt rip.jpg

Not all microbes are bad. Recently the importance of the microbes in the guts of humans is becoming clear, but it’s not just animals that benefit from the microbes inside of them- so do plants, and these microbes could have potential in farming.

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Attack of the Exploding Pineapples: A Ghost Disease Could Cause Trouble in Australia

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A push for pineapples to be imported into Australia from Malaysia could leave the Queensland pineapple industry at risk.

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Spare a thought for Poinsettias this Christmas

 
Poinsettias are a common part of Christmas floral displays but their economic success is partially due to infection by a pathogen.

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What’s That Perfume Called?

Ok, so my plan is that this blog will be about my project and journal or news articles I find interesting. However, I want to take a break from that for a second.

In my project I’m using Botrytis pathogens, it’s commonly known as grey mould. Botrytis itself has a musty/damp smell and if you infect leaves they’ll soon smell like rotting leaves (I know, it’s shocking) so imagine my surprise when I come across this:

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Project: Vanilla, an elicitor of plant defence?

Vanilla Extract

For my  project I am looking into whether a product based on vanilla can elicit defence responses in plants. I covered why there’s research into natural products in my last post.

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Plants vs. Zombifying Pathogen

Many of us are familiar with the ‘zombie fungus’ (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis) which turns ants into ‘zombies’. The fungus is able to manipulate the ant behaviour to its own ends, which are to find the best spot to release its spores for reproduction, one of these released spores might land on another ant and the cycle can continue. This is not an isolated case and there are other examples this ‘zombifying’ behaviour in animals, it is also seen in plants.

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How do plants fight back?

It’s well known that animals can fight pathogens using immune cells and antibodies which travel around the body in the blood. Plants lack these mobile immune cells and they don’t produce antibodies. So, how do plants defend themselves against pathogens?

Tomato leaves exposed to P. syringae

(Figure 1, a diseased and resistant leaf, from apsnet.org)

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