In an article written in the New York Times titled "This Parasite Turns Plants Into Zombies" a parasite named Aster Yellows Phytoplasma was found out to be infecting mustard plants and causing the plant to appear to be a younger plant than it really is. The plants were seen to be aging at a slower rate than their uninfected counterparts. The cause for this stoppage of aging was founded by Dr. Hogenhout and her team to be due to a protein called SAP05. SAP05 was not the only protein found to have an impact on the plant's aging, but this protein was specifically published about. SAP05 binds to two proteins naturally present in the mustard plants which pertain to do with aging and development of the plants. SAP05 acts to deactivate those proteins and, therefore, are unable to properly work. While working in a lab setting with mustard plants and the SAP05 protein, Dr. Hogenhout and her colleagues found that there was some benefit for the plants being infected by the protein. They found that the parasite protects itself and therefore the host plant from infection and diseases.
This is honestly so cool and I wonder what implications it will have for the medical field! I wonder if sometime in the future we can develop treatments from this that will help with degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.ReplyDelete