A study conducted by researchers from The Sainsbury Laboratory, the University of Zurich, and the University of Washington has identified the mechanisms by which a common plant co-receptor can regulate many different signaling pathways through protein phosphorylation that the researchers call a ‘phosphocode'. Cell-surface receptors are important to plants for their survival. To activate receptor kinases—components of dynamic protein complexes that perceive and respond to molecular signals from outside the cell to control all aspects of plant life—shape-complementary co-receptors are recruited in response to specific stimuli. Professor Cyril Zipfel, Chair of Molecular & Cellular Plant Physiology at the University of Zurich said their study furthers understanding of one of the best-characterized plant co-receptors. Professor Zipfel added that they now have an increased understanding of the key functions that control plant immunity, growth, and development. (Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. www.isaaa.org)