Chinese scientist discovers a possible “death switch” mechanism in plant’s immune system

Chinese scientists have discovered a possible “death switch” mechanism in plant’s immune system that triggers infected cells to self-destruct, thus limiting the spread of the disease and keeping other parts of the plant healthy. This is as per the findings published in the journal ‘Science’. The discovery provides clues to cell death control and immunity for plants. The researchers hope further research can lead to a new generation of disease-resistant crops that use significantly less pesticide and are more environmentally friendly. The research was done by scientists from Tsinghua University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Genetics and Development Biology. The ‘death switch’ is usually harmless to the plant because it only affects diseased cells, which are a tiny portion of the entire plant.

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