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The genes PEN1 and SYP122 allowed plants to become resistant to fungal attacks

The genes PEN1 and SYP122 allowed plants to become resistant to fungal attacks

Scientists from the University of Copenhagen identified two genesthat were crucial to terrestrial plants on land. These genes were responsible for Protect plants from fungal attack. It is likely that a special defense mechanism paved the way for plants to take over the Earth’s surface.

plant evolution As we know, it started about 500 million years ago with algae that live in water. At that time, the biggest obstacle to them was mushrooms.

According to Mads Eggert Nielsen and colleagues from the Faculty of Plant and Environmental Sciences and the University of Paris-Saclay, The defense mechanism is modulated by the PEN1 and SYP122 . genes. Through interaction, they can create a kind of “ingredient” in plants Prevents mushroom attack and fungi-like organisms.

– We found that if we destroy these two genes in our model Radish (Arabidopsis)We will open the door for pathogenic fungi to penetrate the plant. We found that they (the genes) were needed to form a cell wall-like plug that protects the plant from the fungus. Interestingly, it appears to be a universal defense mechanism found in all terrestrial plants, says Mads Eggert Nielsen.

The research team tested this feature on liver, a direct descendant of one of the first land plants on Earth. It turns out that they also have “protective genes”, so there are still two plant families (Arabidopsis and liverwort), which have evolved in different directions for 450 million years, Common genetic functions. Thus, it can be assumed that these two genes were the basis of plants during their colonization on Earth.

In prehistoric times, mushrooms were an obstacle for plants in their transition from the marine algae stage to the terrestrial stage. Getting the plants to land was successful, but there was another challenge – Getting the nutrients needed to work.

As Nielsen says: – Soluble nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogenEasily accessible to plants in the aquatic environment. But 500 million years ago, soil as we know it today didn’t exist – it was just rocks. And nutrients related to rocks are very difficult for plants to obtain. But not for mushrooms. On the other hand, mushrooms cannot produce carbohydrates – That’s why they eat plants. It is believed that it was built on this site The symbiotic relationship between plants and fungiwhich then became the basis for the explosion of terrestrial plant life during this period.

According to the latest research, the defense mechanism based on specific genes does not kill the fungus, but only protects the plant from its “invasion”. As Mads Eggert Nielsen adds: – Since the fungus can only gain partial entrance to the plant, we believe it originates critical pointWhere both the plant and the mushroom have something to gain. Therefore, it was beneficial to keep the relationship as is. The theory that plants tame fungi to colonize the Earth is not ours, but we provide data to support this idea.

The data obtained can be used to increase Crop resistance to fungal attacks. Mushrooms are considered a very serious problem in agriculture today.

Most likely diseases such as Powdery mildew, yellow rust or potato rotI found a way to hack, disable, or evade the factory defense mechanism. By knowing how to do this, scientists will be better able to protect plants.

The article was published in a scientific journal eLife.

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