Newly discovered enzyme is ‘firing pin’ for plant immunity

Just like humans, plants have an immune system that helps them fight off infections. Plant immunity has some cardinal variance they don’t make antibodies and can’t fight off the same bug more quickly months or years later. However, plant cells can recognize pathogens and respond to them, often to fabricate a burst of reactive oxygen which is toxic to bacteria or fungi. Cells around an infected site will go into programmed cell death to seal off the disease. Gitta Coaker, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis and colleagues has now identified a key step in how plant cells acknowledge to pathogens. They have identified a family of kinase enzymes that activate the enzymes that make reactive oxygen. Every plant cell can respond to pathogens, Coaker said, through receptors on the cell surface that reacts to things like bacterial proteins. Original Link: