Plants Also Have Immune Systems and Humans Might Be Poisoning It

A recent study has found that just like humans, plants also have immune systemsand humans might be poisoning it. According to the study which was published in the journal Science, plant breeding and pesticide use negatively affect the immune system of plants.

We are all accustomed to using plants to beautify our lawns and gardens, or harvesting herbs, vegetables and fruits for food, however, this recent research has revealed that just like we rely on plants to remain healthy; plants also rely on humans to keep their immune system healthy. As a resultof this research, gardeners have been warned to avoid the use of pesticides as a method of maintaining optimum plant health. Natural News suggests some alternatives that could be used in the place of harmful pesticides and they include:

Diatomaceous earth (DE) – This is a dry, powdery material that is very effective for eliminating crawling pests, both indoors and outdoors. This natural dust contains the shells of marine organisms.

Neem oil – Plants can be protected from insects that feed on them by spraying some neem oil all around your garden or landscape.

The use of pesticides and standard plant breeding practices negatively affect plant immunity. When the immune systems of plants are sabotaged, it could lead to slower recovery from damage.

Plant breeding is a practice that pools plant seeds to create nutrient-rich, high-quality fruits and vegetables that will develop well in perfect planting conditions. However, a lot of farmers do not know about metacaspases (a class of proteolytic enzymes crucial for the activation of the immune response in plants), and could, therefore, beunwittingly limiting plant resilience due to damage caused to their immune system by plant breeding.

Forthis study, researchers from the University of Basel, the VIB-UGentCenter for Plant Systems Biology, and the VIB-UGentCenter for Medical Biotechnology.

During the course of the study, the researchers found that metacaspasesare of utmost importance in the healthy growth of plants and warned that common plant breeding strategies and the use of pesticides may be slowing down this natural response.

When human cells are hurt, the hurt cells send signals to notify the tissues surrounding the injury. These signals would often trigger the immune system to promote tissue regeneration and heal the injury. This is almost exactly what happens in plants.

Plants contain peptides, which are short protein fragments that are essential for the proper functioning of their immune system. These peptides are produced from precursor proteins that have been “cut into shape” by proteases. However, plants contain a lot of proteases, which makes it necessary to identify those with roles in the plant immune system.

Therefore for their study, the researchers cut up somethale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) leaves and found that metacaspases play animportant role in the plant’s response to injury. The response also involves the release of calcium and PROPEP1, a peptide precursor protein.

The scientists confirmed their initial findings by producing a plant with a mutation in the gene coding for a crucial metacaspase. They found that the plant was unable to release the immune signal following injury.The research team says they hope that these findings can be used in future studies.


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