The following press release was recently distributed by the DCI publishers regarding an oustanding publication in DCI.
CROSSING THE SPECIES LINE
Immune surveillance similarities in animals and plants
Amsterdam, January 31, 2008 – A recent article published in Developmental and Comparative Immunology (www.elsevier.com/locate/devcompimm), the official journal of the International Society of Developmental and Comparative Immunology (ISDCI), draws attention to the fact that the plant immune system is not restricted to a fixed set of broad spectrum responses – rather, it is flexible, resilient, and possesses elements of specificity and responsiveness to disease causing agents. Properties quite reminiscent of those of immunity in animals.
All multicellular organisms are in an arms-race against the vast armies of rapidly mutating microbial pathogens that are seeking access to their rich stores of nutrients. The challenges for the organism are two-fold. First to develop appropriate immune defense molecules, and second to generate the diversity needed to combat a rapidly changing pathogen population. Immunologists have had much success in determining the varied means by which animals accomplish this, but this integrated vision of immunity generally does not stray across the line that divides animals from plants.
However, it is obvious that plants can resist many infectious disease agents very effectively, and in their article John McDowell and Stacey Simon from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, USA (Developmental and Comparative Immunology, doi:10.1016/j.dci.2007.11.005) review the multiple lines of defense that plants use against pathogenic microbes. Preliminary evidence leads them to conclude that the rate at which diversification occurs in the plant immune surveillance genes is stimulated by the presence of pathogens, a new and intriguing aspect of plant immunity.
“I have followed plant immunity research for quite some time and have seen the progress in this area. It is important to publish this article in our journal because it provides a very exciting immunological insight", said Kenneth Söderhäll, one of the Editors-in-Chief of the ISDCI journal.
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The International Society of Developmental and Comparative Immunology (ISDCI) serves to bring together research workers worldwide by fostering and maintaining international scientific cooperation and communication between individual scientists, regional groups and/or national societies interested in the study of developmental and comparative immunology. These objectives are advanced through international congresses every three years, sporadic smaller meetings and workshops, and by means of a periodical Newsletter (http://www.isdci.org/).
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Floris de Hon
+31 20 485 2498
Notice from the Elsevier Society Liaison
DCI is now on-line for all 2007 ISDCI members, and the renewal invoices for 2008 will go out to members soon. To get DCI on-line you need to know your customer reference number, which printed on the mailing label for your hard copy of DCI. Go to the first URL listed below to activate your account by filling out a short profile and then used the second URL for viewing issues.
Contact Norman Miller if you have any problems or questions. If you do not know your reference number, contact Dr. Miller and he will look it up and communicate it to you. If you were not a member for 2007 you will not have on-line access until you renew you membership. Former members can renew by calling Elsevier customer service or you can renew through Dr. Miller. The 2007 members will automatically get a renewal invoice from Elsevier however, former members will not receive an invoice.
Norman W. Miller, Ph.D.
Department of Microbiology
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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