MadSci Network: Cell Biology

Re: What are the specific diseases / deformities of plant vacuoles?

Date: Sat Oct 21 08:55:35 2006
Posted By: Melanie Tuffen, Undergraduate, Biology, University of Nottingham
Area of science: Cell Biology
ID: 1160945914.Cb

To my knowledge, and after doing research in the literature on the 
matter, there are no classified plant pathogens that cause disease or 
deformities of the plant vacoule.

Like humans, plants are infected by 3 main types of organism: viruses, 
fungi and bacteria. Both bacteria and fungi do not tend to enter the 
plant cell directly. Many are refered to as biotrophic, and paratise 
plant cells: keeping them alive in order to gain more nutrients. Others 
are necrotrophic. These release toxins into the plant cells which kill 
them, and then utilise the nutrients that are released by the dying cell. 
It is possible there may be some toxins that act upon the vacuole 
membrane, disrupting it, but I have not been able to find any specific 

Viruses tend to be rather inert, when they infect plant cells they 
highjack the cell machinary in order to replicate themselves. This means 
that everything they need is within the cell cytoplasm.

It would probably be a very bad idea for a pathogen to inhabit or attack 
the plant vacoule, as the plant cell stores many hydrolitic and anti-
microbial molecules there! 

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