Skip to content

Advertisement

You're viewing the new version of our site. Please leave us feedback.

Learn more
Open Access

Apoptosis and disease in plants

  • Jonathan B Weitzman
Genome Biology20012:spotlight-20010604-01

https://doi.org/10.1186/gb-spotlight-20010604-01

Published: 04 June 2001

The hypersensitive response (HR) of plants to pathogenic infection involves a form of programmed cell death, but the molecular mechanisms remain unclear. In the June 5 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dickman et al. describe the use of transgenic plants expressing known anti-apoptotic genes from animals to explore the role of apoptosis in host defence (Proc Natl Acad SciUSA 2001, 98:6957-6962). They generated tobacco plants expressing human bcl-2, human bcl-xl, nematode ced-9 or baculovirus op-iap. All of the transgenes conferred resistance to fungal phytopathogens and to tomato spotted wilt virus. The anti-apoptotic transgenes also inhibited DNA laddering (a marker of apoptosis) following tobacco plant infection with necrotrophic fungi. This 'comparative pathobiology' approach demonstrates that plant-pathogen interactions induce cell death that resembles animal apoptosis. These transgenic plants will be important to studies of the mechanisms of plant cell death and to the development of disease-resistant crops.

References

  1. Hypersensitive response-related death.Google Scholar
  2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, [http://www.pnas.org/]
  3. Bcl-2 family proteins.Google Scholar
  4. bcl-x, a bcl-2-related gene that functions as a dominant regulator of apoptotic cell death.Google Scholar
  5. Caenorhabditis elegans gene ced-9 protects cells from programmed cell death.Google Scholar
  6. An apoptosis-inhibiting baculovirus gene with a zinc finger-like motif.Google Scholar

Copyright

© BioMed Central Ltd 2001

Advertisement