New Research May Enhance Disease Resistance in Plants


X-ray fluorescence and diffraction datasets of the crystal structure obtained at the Northeastern Collaborative Access Team (NECAT) 24-ID-C beamline at the APS (Fig. 1) revealed two surprising factors. The first was a zinc finger that wasn’t obvious from sequence analysis. (The team also used the APS with metal scan to validate the zinc.)  The scientists found that not only does the zinc finger solidify the structure of the protein, but it also interfaces with a region―known as the ankyrin repeats―that interacts with the transcription factors, such as TGAs, to regulate plant immune response, thus explaining the role of the zinc finger in NPR1’s function.

Work by Pei Zhou's group from Duke University is highlighted on the APS website.

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