OSCA1.3 

#GS3 #Science&Technology #Agriculture 

A new discovery related to plants’ defence mechanisms against pathogens has the potential to pave the way for healthier, more resistant and productive crops.  

  • Plants have a unique ability to safeguard themselves against pathogens and resist infection: A flood of calcium surrounds their pores — or stomata — triggering them to close.  
  • This much was known by scientists, but it was unclear exactly how calcium would enter the plant cells. 
  • The stomata are encircled by two guard cells that respond to the calcium signals telling them to either expand or contract. 
  • This triggers innate immune signals and initiates the plants’ defense response. 
  • The calcium cannot directly pass through guard cell membranes, so, a protein called OSCA1.3 forms a channel leaking calcium to the cells. 
  • A study by an international team of scientists — including those from the University of Maryland (UMD), United States — claimed this to be the work of a protein called OSCA1.3 that formed a channel leaking calcium to the cells.  
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