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Newsletter +++ 09.09.2020

Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry

Medicinal plants thrive in biodiversity hotspots

With their rich repertoire of anti-infective substances, medicinal plants have always been key in the human fight to survive pathogens and parasites. This is why the search for herbal drugs with novel structures and effects is still one of the great challenges of natural product research today. Scientists from the IPB, Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research have now shown a way to considerably simplify this search for bioactive natural compounds. 
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New potato defense gene affects recycling of defense proteins

Together with partners from the Martin Luther University of Halle, IPB scientists have discovered a new defense-related gene of potato, which is increasingly expressed after Pep-13 infiltration of the plant. The identified gene StIPP codes for a membrane-localized inositol polyphosphate phosphatase. In vitro - as the Halle scientists showed - the recombinant enzyme catalyzes the dephosphoryl- ation of phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P2 or PIP2) in a very specific manner. Published in New Phytol. // ⇒ Read more
News and Views for Nature Plants
Given their strong expertise in the field of plant immune responses, Tina Romeis and Lennart Wirthmüller were recently invited to write a News and Views article for Nature Plants. They comment in their article on a publication by Dressano et al., which uncovers alternative splicing as a fundamental mechanism of gene
regulation in plant defense signaling. Published in Nat. Plants. //  ⇒ Read more
Novel interaction interfaces between TIR1·AUX/IAA
Signaling molecules such as auxins dictate plant behavior including when and how to grow. Researchers from the IPB and Martin-Luther University acquired snapshots of the auxin-mediated interaction between TIR1 and AUX/IAA, which led to the discovery of novel interaction interfaces between the interaction partners. The study was published in Nat. Commun. //  ⇒ Read more
Chemical reaction named after IPB chemist
One rarely gets to be a namesake for a chemical reaction, but Bernhard Westermann has now become just that. The Sakai-Westermann reaction, named after him, is a cycloaddition in which two organic compounds react with each other by ring closure (forming a 1,2,3-triazole motif). 
In 2012, Westermann and colleagues published their results in the International Edition of Angewandte Chemie. // ⇒ Read the full story
Pollen Surface Replenished: A tapetal flavonoid transporter
IPB researchers have identified a gene encoding for a transporter responsible for translocating flavonoid glycosides to the surface of Arabidopsis pollen. A complex mix of small molecules termed the pollenkitt usually covers the rigid pollen wall of flowering plants. This blend of substances serves to attract pollinators and to protect mature pollen grains from environmental factors. The study was published in Plant Cell. // ⇒ Read more
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