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plants have immune systems
The article below emphasizes two important new developments in our
understanding of the plants immune system and in the process of
alternate splicing of messenger RNA. In recent years it has grown clear
that plants have an immune system bearing some similarity to the animal
immune system. There has also been growing awareness that one gene can
express many different protein products by splicing messenger RNA in
alternative ways.Such splicing is very important in plant immunity.
Pages 392-398 volume 7 Trends in Plant Science
Alternative splicing of transcripts encoding Toll-like plant resistance
proteins ¯ what's the functional relevance to innate immunity?
Tina Jordan, Sebastian Schornack and Thomas LahayeE-mail The
Innate immunity in plants and animals shares many structural and
functional homologies, which suggests an ancient origin of cellular
defense mechanisms in both kingdoms. Pathogen sensing in animal innate
immunity is mediated by Toll-like receptors (TLRs). These receptors have
TIR (Toll/interleukin-1 receptor) domains and leucine-rich repeats,
which are modules also present in many plant resistance (R) proteins.
Molecular analysis of transcripts encoding animal TLRs and Toll-like
plant R proteins revealed many cases of alternative splicing. Recent
studies of the tobacco N and the Arabidopsis RPS4 genes, both encoding
Toll-like plant R proteins, showed that intron-deprived genes have
reduced or no activity, suggesting that alternative splicing is a
crucial component in these signaling pathways.