- Biofuel feedstocks
- Synthetic polypeptide
- Enhanced disease resistance
- Robust immune response
- Target plants can be engineered to constitutively express the receptor and inducibly express the peptide
Pamela Ronald and researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have discovered raxX, a novel peptide that activates the Xa21 immune response pathway, capable of conferring robust disease resistance in plants, and methods for its use. Application of the peptide activates the plant immune responses and eliminating bacterial infection. Engineering plants to express both raxX and Xa21 under an inducible control is expected to lead to robust resistance in diverse plant species.
Cell surface pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) are essential to innate immune responses in plants. These receptors are able to identify pathogens with certain pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) at the cell surface and then initiate an intracellular immune response. In plants, cell surface recognition of PAMPs is typically carried out by receptor kinases. In rice, one such receptor kinase is XA21 which mediates recognition of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), a bacterium that causes bacterial blight. Upon XA21 cell surface recognition of Xoo, the receptor kinase mediates a robust immune response within the cell.
Improved immunity can help to stabilize crop production in areas by bacterial blight. Additionally, target plants can be engineered to constitutively express Xa21 and inducibly express the novel peptide. The result is the ability to engineer plants with resistance to a wide variety of potential pathogens.
STATUS: Published U. S. Patent Application #15/382,461 (Publication No. US2018-0002717). Available for licensing or collaborative research.
REFERENCE NUMBER: 2016-030