The key factor of plant stem cell immune virus was discovered

  After a plant is infected with a virus, it will also “get sick”. So how do plants resist viruses? Recently, Professor Zhong Zhao’s team from the School of Life Sciences of the University of Science and Technology of China found the key factor of plant stem cell immune virus-WUSCHEL (WUS) protein through cross-study in the two fields of developmental biology and plant virology, revealing the broad-spectrum resistance of plant stem cells Virus mechanism.
  At present, plant virus diseases have become the second largest disease in agricultural production, causing huge economic losses worldwide every year. At present, the most stable and reliable biotechnology to remove viruses from plants and obtain detoxified plants is “stem tip detoxification”: Scientists cut off the shoot tips of virus-infected plants in a sterile environment and put them in a culture medium. Cultivate in test tube. After the plant grows up, the stem tip is cut off and cultivated again. After several rounds of operation, a plant without virus infection can be obtained.
  The advantage of this technology is that it is universal, but the disadvantage is that it requires in vitro culture, the steps are cumbersome, the economic cost is high, and its underlying mechanism has not been revealed. Therefore, it is important to analyze the broad-spectrum antiviral mechanism in the shoot tip and find antiviral proteins for the cultivation of new broad-spectrum antiviral crops.
  ”In the long-term evolutionary process, it is difficult for plants to completely defeat viruses. Viruses will always try various ways to infect cells.” Professor Zhao Zhong’s research team found that although viruses can invade most cells, there is a special category. The cell virus cannot infect, that is, stem cells. “If the antiviral mechanism of stem cells can be revealed, and other cells can have similar capabilities, then the entire plant can be able to resist virus attack.”
  In 2011, after Zhao Zhong returned to China, after 8 years of painstaking research, he led the team to find another way. Inspired by the traditional stem tip detoxification technology, he found that once the stem cells sense the arrival of the virus, the WUS protein will be rapidly induced to inhibit protein synthesis. Ribosome, the most critical device in the plant, greatly reduces the protein synthesis ability in plant cells.
  ”In this way, after the virus enters, it cannot use plant cells to synthesize viral proteins, so the virus cannot replicate effectively, and it cannot continue to infect other cells, thereby inhibiting the spread of the virus.” He added.
  In addition, when the virus invades, the WUS protein can not only protect the stem cells, but also can “retrograde” move to the periphery of the stem cells, protecting the new descendent cells of the stem cells from virus infection. The researchers also confirmed through key genetic experiments that expressing WUS protein in other cells of plants can protect plants from virus infection. This shows that WUS-mediated stem cell virus immunity has a broad spectrum.
  The results were published in the top international academic journal “Science” on October 9. Peer experts commented: “This research solves a long-standing and highly concerned issue, and is a groundbreaking research in the field of plant pathology and plant development.” The
  team researchers said that the WUS protein-mediated broad-spectrum antiviral mechanism, It can provide a new research idea for the anti-virus control of a variety of crops, and may bring a new dawn to the solution of the problem of global grain production.