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Thread: sophmore biology major. help.

  1. #1 sophmore biology major. help. 
    Forum Freshman Chisco1389's Avatar
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    Ok here is the deal. I have recently started working for a professor doing research stuff and want to know something without sounding like a total newbie. Ok so we are looking at disease carried by a vector(glassy winged sharp shooter) and my question is if the vector is immune why cant we just sequence it DNA and find what gene makes it immune to the disease and put that into plants?


    Nothing is certain, but uncertainty.
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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Usually, a plant pathogen will simply not be infectious to its insect vector because insects are very different from plants, all the receptors will be different. What kind of pathogen is it, a viroid, bacteria, protozoan, or a virus?

    My knowledge of plant pathogens is sadly limited to a handful of lectures in a virology course.


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    Forum Freshman Chisco1389's Avatar
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    Pierce's disease, which is bacterial.
    Nothing is certain, but uncertainty.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    There are several possibilities then.

    Firstly, the bacteria is likely adapted not to harm the insect vector. Secondly, if the reason why the bacteria doesn't harm the vector is due to a difference in receptors, it would be near to impossible to insert that kind of gene into a plant in a functional manner. I would think a more fruitful root would be looking at inserting antibacterial genes into the plant from other plants. I know next to nothing about how plants fight disease though.

    I know a little bit about insect immunology, and tolerance of gut bacteria isn't unusual in insects.

    edit: btw you should look up the papers published by the professor and read at least the most recent ones. They don't expect much from undergraduates, even that much interest will probably be received well.
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