The spiky hair around the stem of tomato plants, are seen to possess antibiotic qualities, reveal latest reports.
During a major biotechnology conference held in Canberra, it has been informed that these projections, named as ˜glandular trichomes, revealed the biochemical actions that help the plant kingdom in establishing immune defense mechanism against diseases.
The US researchers, who investigated the probing sticky, hair-like projections on few plants that secrete chemical compounds, believed to have antibiotic properties, agreed that it helps scientists to gain better understanding about the triggers of immune responses in people.
A geneticist at the Michigan State University, Prof. Rob Last, said Trichomes create the pungent aroma of ripe tomato, and they are biochemical factories of defensive compounds that deter insect pests and invading pathogens.
These chemicals are secreted in such huge quantities that insects sticking on to the leaves too have antibiotic qualities.
Investigation of trichomes reveals that enzymes and pathways are the cause for the natural defenses of the tomato family, and this in turn, would throw light on human conditions.
Through our understanding of the genetic make-up of plants, humans and animals, we find that the three have more in common, than was otherwise thought to be, said Last.