Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Hidden weapons of microbial destruction in plant genomes

Genome Biology
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/gb-2007-8-9-225
  • Minireview
  • Biology
  • Computer Science


GB89_Manners_4.qxd Genome Biology 2007, 8:225 Minireview Hidden weapons of microbial destruction in plant genomes John M Manners Address: CSIRO Plant Industry, Queensland Bioscience Precinct, Carmody Road, St Lucia, Brisbane 4067, Australia. Email: [email protected] Abstract Recent bioinformatic analyses of sequenced plant genomes reveal a previously unrecognized abundance of genes encoding antimicrobial cysteine-rich peptides, representing a formidable and dynamic defense arsenal against plant pests and pathogens. Published: 26 September 2007 Genome Biology 2007, 8:225 (doi:10.1186/gb-2007-8-9-225) The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at © 2007 BioMed Central Ltd Higher plants are sedentary and lack the adaptive immune system that many animals deploy when challenged by micro- bial pathogens. Nevertheless, plants are not defenseless, and have developed a variety of mechanisms to protect them- selves against microbial attack. These include the production of proteins, secondary metabolites and reactive oxygen species that can inhibit the growth of microbial pathogens, the establishment of structural barriers such as lignin and polysaccharides that prevent penetration and colonization, and hypersensitivity responses that result in programmed cell death and isolate invading pathogens from sources of nutrients. The defensive antimicrobial proteins produced by plants fall into two broad groups based on size. Examples of large anti- microbial proteins (more than 100 amino acid residues) are the chitinases and glucanases that are induced in plant tissues by fungal attack. These digest fungal cell-wall polymers and can inhibit and ultimately lyse fungal cells [1]. Plants also produce a diverse array of smaller proteins (less than 100 amino acid residues), most of which are cysteine-rich peptides (CRPs) that inhibit bacterial and fungal growth in vitro

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.