Plants belonging to the Brassicaceae family such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, mustard, and Brussels sprout may have different tastes, but they have a common enemy: white rust. One kind of white rust, caused by the pathogen Albugo candida threatens cabbages. Though not actually a fungus, A. candida acts like one and spreads under the right conditions of humidity and temperature, eating up the nutrients of the plants it attacks. A team of researchers from eight European universities and research centers headed by Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich has identified four genes that are resistant to A. candida. These genes are nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) immune receptor that was identified using Arabidopsis thaliana. An additional gene was identified that confers resistance to an isolate of A. candida race 9 that infects Brassica oleracea. The paper reports that immunity conferred by NLR genes provides species-wide resistance to the pathogen.
Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. www.isaaa.org