How do plants resist viruses?The team of Professor Zhao Zhong from China University of science and technology has discovered a key factor of plant stem cell immune virus, which reveals the broad-spectrum antiviral mechanism of plant stem cells.A research achievement was published on the 9th in science, a famous international academic journal. According to the introduction, the scientific research team has found the key factor of plant stem cell immune virus, WUSCHEL (WUS) protein, through cross research in the fields of developmental biology and plant virology.
Professor Zhao Zhong (first from the right) guides the students. People's network
Reporter: Wu Lan
At present, plant virus disease has become the second major disease in agricultural production, once the plant infected with virus will bring devastating consequences.
Due to the variety of viruses, there are more than 1000 known plant viruses. The existing anti-virus methods can only target at a few viruses, and with the continuous evolution of viruses, the resistance will gradually weaken. "Shoot tip detoxification" is one of the most effective biotechnologies that can be applied to most plants to eliminate viruses in vivo, but its deep mechanism has not been revealed.
Inspired by the traditional "stem tip virus-free" technology, the research team found that WUS is a key antiviral protein existing in plant stem cells after eight years. This protein is induced by virus infection, which will directly lead to the virus can not use plant cells to complete the translation of its own protein, as well as the process of virus replication and assembly, thus inhibiting the spread of the virus.
At the same time, WUS protein can also become a "sharp weapon" for other cells to resist virus infection, which can protect plants from virus infection.
The researchers also examined a variety of viruses and confirmed that WUS protein can inhibit the infection of these viruses to plant cells.
The study is the first to find such a precise molecular link between virus resistance and meristem maintenance genes.
Wus is a conserved stem cell regulatory protein, and its homologous protein exists in a variety of plants, the researchers said. The broad-spectrum antiviral mechanism mediated by WUS protein can provide a new research idea for anti-virus control of many crops, and may bring new dawn to solve the problem of global stable grain yield.