Plants defend themselves from pathogens and insect feeding by producing proteins that enhance their resistance to these organisms. This is called systemic acquired resistance (SAR). Specific defense genes code for pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins that protect plants from microorganisms and are induced by a plant hormone called salicylic acid. The defense genes from resistant or tolerant plants can be inserted into less tolerant plants, thereby improving their resistance to diseasesResearch is underway to transform the rootstock with the hope that it will boost the immunity of the entire tree.
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