Volume 89 Issue 10 | p. 43 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 7, 2011

Chemical Weapon For Plants Unsheathed

The war between plants and infectious microbes uncovers sulforaphane as a natural plant-defense chemical
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: plant immunity, bacteria, pathogens

Scientists studying the wars waged between plants and infectious microbes have discovered a new plant-defense chemical. While monitoring Arabidopsis plants under attack by Pseudomonas syringae pathogenic bacteria, a team led by Jun Fan of the John Innes Centre, in Norwich, England, and Peter Doerner of the Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, discovered that the plants produce sulforaphane (4-methylsulfinylbutyl isothiocyanate) by breaking down aliphatic glucosinolates . . .

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