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Parasitic plants use ethylene as a signal to invade the host



When plants attack: parasitic plants use ethylene as a host invasion signal
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Pictures of the parasitic tree model, Phtheirospermum japonicum (left), and its auditorium (right). P: parasitic tree, H: host tree. The lower right photo shows the xylem connection between the host and the parasite. Bar = 200 μm. Credit: Satoko Yoshida

Mutants reveal the secrets of how plants attack? No, it’s not a sci-fi scene, but you might be forgiven for thinking that. Instead, it’s a scene in real life:


Researchers at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Japan report in a new study in Scientific advance that parasitic plants use the plant’s ethylene hormone as a signal to penetrate the roots of host plants.

In order to develop a successful parasitic relationship, the parasitic plant forms a specialized structure that prevents it from attaching to and entering the host plant. The haustoria formation is regulated by signal molecules derived from the host plant and allows the parasite to absorb water, nutrients and small materials from the host plant.

“To understand genetic programs for stagnant development, we have identified mutations that exhibit scientifically defect expression when entering a host,” said Songkui Cui, lead author of the study. “Genomic sequencing revealed that these mutants had errors in ethylene signaling, and it turns out that ethylene signaling genes are important for the parasitic plant to infect its host plant.”

Ethylene is a gaseous plant hormone involved in fruit ripening, leaf aging and the formation of root nodules. Ethylene is also widely involved in plant interactions with viruses and many organisms, such as insects and bacteria, allowing plants to be resistant or susceptible depending on the type of pathogen.

“Our results indicate that ethylene mediates host recognition in parasitic plants to host host invasion,” explains Satoko Yoshida, project lead. “This is the first time that parasitic plant genes have been identified through host entry through transitional genetics. Our findings provide new insight into how a parasitic plant uses feces.” ethylene to regulate host growth and penetration “.

Genetics are used to identify genes, or sets of genes, that create a specific trait in an organism. The model species used in this study were from a family of parasitic plants that included destructive weeds. But the molecular basis for their parasitism has been largely undiscovered so far.

“Our results show that parasitic plants have received ethylene signals to parasitize at various stages of their life cycle, such as germination, cessation and host invasion. Can provide new ways to use ethylene and ethylene inhibitors to control Cui said many parasitic weeds, including those that do not rely entirely on the host to complete their life cycle, by controlling the monitoring function.


Wormwood leaf research is often significant for plant control


More information:
Songkui Cui et al., Ethylene signals mediate host entry by parasitic plants, Scientific advance (Year 2020). DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abc2385

Provided by the Nara Institute of Science and Technology

Quote: When plants attack: Parasites use ethylene as host intrusion signal (2020, November 4) retrieved November 5, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020 -11-parasitic-ethylene-host-invasion.html

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