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Key To Virulence Protein Entry Into Host Cells Discovered by Virginia Bioinformatics Institute Researchers



8/5/2008 7:53:45 AM

EurekAlert -- Researchers from the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech have identified the region of a large family of virulence proteins in oomycete plant pathogens that enables the proteins to enter the cells of their hosts. The protein region contains the amino acid sequence motifs RXLR and dEER and has the ability to carry the virulence proteins across the membrane surrounding plant cells without any additional machinery from the pathogen. Once inside the plant cell, the proteins suppress the immune system of the plant allowing the infection to progress. The work, which focused on the virulence protein Avr1b from the soybean plant pathogen Phytophthora sojae, is published in the advance online edition of The Plant Cell.*

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