In the UK’s John Innes Centre the researchers have found that there is an increase in rice plants’ resistance to pathogens by understanding how rice plants detect pathogens. Their study is based on the mid-20th century model called the gene-for-gene hypothesis which was developed by Harold Henry Flor.
Shanti-AgroUnder these studies, Harold Henry Flor predicted that plant sensors discriminate between different pathogen types, but it was not indicated that how they exactly worked. On further extending the research into this model which has been carried out by Professor Banfield and his team, it was investigated that how a sensor protein in rice (called Pik) binds with a protein from the rice blast pathogen (called AV-Pik). For this, X-ray facility was used to identify the contact points between the proteins of rice plant and pathogens at molecular level. It was also found that the strength at which the Pik sensor binds with the pathogen AVR-Pik correlates with the strength of the plant’s response.
According to the researchers , the technique can now devise strategies to boost the immunity of rice plants. By building sensors with increased strength of binding to pathogen proteins, so that plants would be able to enhance their resistance to diseases.