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Utilize Effector Targets to Generate Plant Resistance to Both Phytoplasma and Insect Vectors

Saskia Hogenhout: John Innes Centre

<div>Phytoplasmas are insect-transmitted bacterial parasites that inhabit the vascular tissues of plants and induce dramatic changes in plant development, including proliferation of stems (witch’s brooms) and the reversion of flowers into leaf-like structures (phyllody), and convert plants into more attractive hosts for feeding and egg laying by phytoplasma insect vectors. Phytoplasmas generate these disease symptoms via the production of an arsenal of virulence proteins, named SAPs, which interact with and promote the degradation of a diverse range of plant transcription factors, including homeodomain proteins. Knowledge of the mechanisms of SAP interactions with plant targets has revealed avenues for phytoplasma disease control.</div>

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