Connect with us


Viral probe gives ringside view of cell-to-cell combat

A fascinating blow-by-blow account of the arms struggle between plants and viral pathogens, is revealed in new research.

The international research team including the laboratory of Dr Christine Faulkner at the John Innes Centre used a plant virus as a probe to discover how plants defend themselves against invading pathogens.

The virus’ eye view of the infected plant has provided answers to a number of key questions that have until now eluded biologists and the breakthrough could lead to more disease resistant plants.

On the plant side of the arms struggle the study has identified key receptor proteins which regulate the cell-to-cell movement of RNA interference (RNAi). The movement of RNAi, also known as RNA silencing is a key anti-viral defence mechanism used by plants.

From the virus side of the argument, the investigation revealed a suppressor protein named C4 which the virus employs to disarm the plant’s defence mechanism.

Dr Faulkner explained: “RNA silencing and its spread throughout the plant is part of the immune response to viruses. Here we used the virus’ C4 protein to lead us to the plant proteins that are involved in the spread of RNA silencing.

“Plants use RNA silencing for many purposes other than in their immune responses, here we’ve essentially used the virus to unlock a fundamental aspect of how plants regulate these responses.”

“RNA silencing is common to plant responses to most viruses and so understanding how the viral C4 protein works in the plant opens up the doors for other viruses to be looked at.

“This is a big step in understanding mechanisms that the plant and the virus use during an infection.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by John Innes Centre.

Journal Reference:

  1. Tabata Rosas-Diaz, Dan Zhang, Pengfei Fan, Liping Wang, Xue Ding, Yuli Jiang, Tamara Jimenez-Gongora, Laura Medina-Puche, Xinyan Zhao, Zhengyan Feng, Guiping Zhang, Xiaokun Liu, Eduardo R. Bejarano, Li Tan, Heng Zhang, Jian-Kang Zhu, Weiman Xing, Christine Faulkner, Shingo Nagawa, Rosa Lozano-Duran. A virus-targeted plant receptor-like kinase promotes cell-to-cell spread of RNAiProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018; 201715556 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1715556115
Continue Reading
Click to comment


A Deadly Roundworm Parasite Is Causing This Woman’s Painful Rashes

After suffering from strange blisters and rashes all over her skin, Masandra learns that she contracted the Toxocara parasite while vacationing in Italy.

Continue Reading


Liver fluke live

Liver fluke is a collective name of a polyphyletic group of parasitic flat worms under the phylum Platyhelminthes.They are principally parasites of the liver of various mammals, including humans. Capable of moving along the blood circulation, they can occur also in bile ducts, gallbladder, and liver parenchyma. In these organs, they produce pathological lesions leading to parasitic diseases. They have complex life cycles requiring two or three different hosts, with free-living larval stages in water

Continue Reading


Worms Are Eating My Lungs

Missourian Chris Motsinger suffered from intense chest cramps and frequently coughed up bloody phlegm. Doctors uncover the stomach-churning source of Chris’ mysterious symptoms after a lung biopsy. Chris’ body had been invaded by paragonimus kellicotti–a fluke that uses mammalian lungs to complete part of its life cycle.

Continue Reading


@VP Remove these #PARASITES FROM OUR COUNTRY Punish all the material supporters of #IllegalImmigrants

Ancient Roman 🏛️ Poop 💩 Shows Rich And Poor Were Infected By Different Parasites 🐛 via @forbes… #roman #archaeology #parasites #poop #feces