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Tanaka’s Research Featured in WSU Insider

Posted by chagelganz | January 11, 2019

Plant immune response blueprint found; disease resistance targeted

WSU Insider, January 10, 2019
By Scott Weybright, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Washington State University researchers have discovered the way plants respond to disease-causing organisms, and how they protect themselves, leading the way to potential breakthroughs in breeding resistance to diseases or pests.

four researchers in lab, one holding a research plant specimen
The ATP plant research team included, l-r, David Gang, Joel Sowders (WSU grad student), Jeremy Jewell, Kiwamu Tanaka

The results were published in the journal Plant Physiology and describe how plants respond to a molecule released during damage caused by infection or outside entities. The paper shows how adenosine 5-triphospate (ATP), a part of DNA and energy production in cells, becomes a signal for injury or infection when outside cells. That signal triggers defense responses in plants.