Plants are attacked by a multitude of pathogens and pests, some of which cause epidemics that threaten food security. Yet a fundamental concept in plant pathology is that most plants are actively resistant to most pathogens and pests. Plants fend off their innumerable biotic foes primarily through innate immune receptors that detect the invading pathogens and trigger a robust immune response. The conceptual basis of such interactions was elegantly articulated by Harold H. Flor, who, in 1942, proposed the hypothesis that single genes in plants and pathogens define the outcome of their interactions; that is, a plant harboring a specific gene displays resistance against a pathogen that carries an interacting virulence gene ( 1 ). This gene-for-gene model was hugely insightful and influential—it has helped to guide applied and basic research on disease resistance. However, recent findings are taking the field beyond this simplified binary view of plant-pathogen interactions. Plants carry extremely diverse and dynamic repertoires of immune receptors that are interconnected in complex ways. Conversely, plant pathogens secrete a diversity of virulence proteins and metabolites called effectors, and pathogen genomics has revealed hundreds of effector genes in many species. These effectors have evidently evolved to favor pathogen infection and spread, but a subset of them inadvertently activate plant immune receptors. The emerging paradigm is that dynamic webs of genetic and biochemical networks underpin the early stages of plant-pathogen interactions.
On 10 July, researchers in Chile will unveil an online public random number service. Later in July, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will launch its Randomness Beacon as a permanent service, upgrading a pilot program that began in 2013. Brazil, too, is planning ... more
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) commits its 196 nation parties to conserve biological diversity, use its components sustainably, and share fairly and equitably the benefits from the utilization of genetic resources. The last of these objectives was further codified in the Conve ... more
Solar windows turn some of the light shining through into electricity. They've been on the market for years. But many of these windows absorb some visible light, leaving them with a reddish or brownish hue, a trait frowned on by architects. Now, new versions are on the way that absorb invis ... more
Merck announced it was ranked fourth among biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies worldwide by Science magazine, a leading peer-reviewed international scientific publication. This ranking marks the fourth year in a row Merck was named one of the top 20 employers in the healthcare and li ... more
Merck announced it was named number 11 among the top 20 employers in the global biopharmaceutical industry by Science magazine, a leading peer-reviewed international scientific publication. This is the third year in a row that Merck, including EMD Serono in the United States, has been named ... more