Think that a field of plants is a bucolic place free of strife? Try again. It is a battlefield of chemical warfare between defending plants and attacking pathogens. And the plants are waging a good fight, according to a University of Missouri biochemist. Previous studies have shown that plants can sense attacks by pathogens and activate their defenses. However, it has not been known what happens between the pathogen attacks and the defense activation, until now. A new MU study revealed a very complex process that explains how plants counterattack pathogens. This discovery could potentially lead to crops with enhanced disease resistance.
Biochemistry ⋅ Page 15
BridgeAt first glance, there seems to be little in common between biochemistry research in medicine and agriculture. On closer inspection, the relationship becomes profound as life and disease processes are very similar at the genetic and molecular level.
An international research center co-directed by William Folk, Ph.D., biochemist, in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the School of Medicine, will study the medical effectiveness of the plant commonly called Sutherlandia. A clinical study seeks to determine if the plant is safe and can benefit people in the early stages of HIV/AIDS.