Annual Review of Phytopathology (2016) 54, 143-161

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Martha Hawes, Caitilyn Allen, B. Gillian Turgeon, Gilberto Curlango-Rivera, Tuan Minh Tran, David A. Huskey and Zhongguo Xiong (2016)
Root border cells and their role in plant defense
Annual Review of Phytopathology 54, 143-161
Abstract: Root border cells separate from plant root tips and disperse into the soil environment. In most species, each root tip can produce thousands of metabolically active cells daily, with specialized patterns of gene expression. Their function has been an enduring mystery. Recent studies suggest that border cells operate in a manner similar to mammalian neutrophils: Both cell types export a complex of extracellular DNA (exDNA) and antimicrobial proteins that neutralize threats by trapping pathogens and thereby preventing invasion of host tissues. Extracellular DNases (exDNases) of pathogens promote virulence and systemic spread of the microbes. In plants, adding DNase I to root tips eliminates border cell extracellular traps and abolishes root tip resistance to infection. Mutation of genes encoding exDNase activity in plant-pathogenic bacteria (Ralstonia solanacearum) and fungi (Cochliobolus heterostrophus) results in reduced virulence. The study of exDNase activities in plant pathogens may yield new targets for disease control.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
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Database assignments for author(s): Caitilyn Allen

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
resistance/tolerance/defence of host


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Bipolaris maydis
Ralstonia solanacearum