A University of Queensland-led study has highlighted the minute details of how the plant’s immune system leads to its ability to resist disease.
UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciencesand Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centreresearcher Professor Bostjan Kobe said the finding was significant as food security was an increasingly relevant problem worldwide.
“It is estimated that pre-harvest plant diseases account for up to 15 per cent of crop losses per year,” he said.
“Breeding resistant plant varieties has been the main strategy to combat plant disease, especially because pesticides can be detrimental to the environment.
“While many plant resistance genes have been identified in the past 20 years, we have a limited understanding of how the products of these genes work.
The research team used x-ray crystallography to understand how the immune receptors assembled during signalling.
“It is vitally important that we understand how plant immune systems function,” Professor Kobe said.