Secretion-regulating proteins in plants influence resistance to pathogens
A wide variety of pathogenic bacteria and fungi cause 20%-30% of crop losses worldwide; another 12% of losses occur during storage and transport. Better than chemical protection are genes that ensure resistance against pathogens. MLO genes (mildew resistance locus o) are plant specific and their loss-of-function mutations surprisingly show excellent resistance to powdery mildew fungi in various crops without significant yield reduction. Until very recently, it was not known how membrane MLO proteins function at the molecular level. Supported by the GAČR-DFG joint project the research group of prof. Viktor Žárský in cooperation with the group of prof. Ralph Panstruga in Aachen discovered a new interaction and cooperation of MLO proteins with the exocyst complex - regulator of protein secretion to the cell surface playing an important role also in plant defense against pathogens.
Link to the study: (DOI: 10.1093/plcell/koad319)