Japanese researchers study organophosphate sensitivity in sorghum plants

November 17, 2021 |

In Japan, sorghum, an underrated ancient grain, is slowly becoming well known as a superfood due to its nutrient-dense and gluten-free nature. Sorghum syrup is widely used as a healthy alternative to molasses in the food industry, and this cereal is also used to make gluten-free flour. In addition, sorghum commonly serves as high-quality animal fodder while also being an effective renewable source of biofuel and chemicals. Improving the cultivation of sorghum is essential for continuing to reap the benefits of this cereal and for leveraging its economic advantages. However, sorghum—like other crops—has some undesirable traits that reduce its yield. One such trait is sensitivity to organophosphates, which are commonly used pesticides. In sorghum crop, organophosphates cause leaf browning, cell death, and wilting.

Researchers from Okayama University, Japan, have been studying the cellular mechanisms that cause organophosphate sensitivity (OPS) in sorghum plants. In their recent study published in Scientific Reports, they reveal that the genes encoding the NB-LRR protein are responsible for OPS in sorghum. Moreover, they found that the mechanism of organophosphate-induced damage in sorghum was similar to the mechanism through which plants suffer damage during pathogenic infections.

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Category: Research

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