Second Nature Communications publication on Cuscuta
A collaboration that started in 2018 between TFS-Toppforsk project manager and UiT professor Kirsten Krause and plant biologists around Professor Markus Albert, Germany, has recently been rewarded with a published article in the renowned journal Nature Communications. After the Nature communications paper in 2018, this is the second publication in this prestigious journal by Krause and her group.
The article investigated how crop plants can unveil that they are being attacked by a parasitic plant. The parasitic plant genus Cuscuta used as their research object attacks many land plants almost indiscriminately and drains them of their nutrients. One of very few plants that has learned to recognize the parasite for what it is are tomato plants. A fraction of a small protein (a so-called peptide) located in the cell wall of Cuscuta gives away its identity. Why it is only tomato that has developed a detection mechanism of this peptide and other plants are helpless against the parasite and what makes specifically this peptide such a good indicator is not yet known.
You can read the article here.