Ask Me Anything – Correcting the Scientific Record in Plant Science

Live Event – ‘Ask Me Anything’ session with Prof. Pamela Ronald, Dr. Ofir Bahar​, Dr. Rory Pruitt​, Dr. Benjamin Schwessinger, and Dr. Arsalan Daudi

Who & What: Ask Prof. Ronald, Dr. Bahar, Dr. Pruitt, Dr. Schwessinger, and Dr. Daudi will discuss their PeerJ article and their retraction experience.

When: Tuesday, February 18th, 9 am – 10 am PST

Where & How: Visit https://www.peerj.com/ask/PlantMicrobeInteractions

We are pleased to announce that Tuesday, February 18th, 9 am – 10 am PST (5 pm – 6 pm UK time), we will be holding our third ‘Ask Me Anything’ live session, with Prof. Ronald, Dr. Bahar, Dr. Pruitt, Dr. Schwessinger, and Dr. Daudi.

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Prof. Ronald has spent 25 years studying how plants respond to disease, and how they can defend themselves against infections. Plants, like animals, have immune receptors that detect microbial invasion and initiate innate immune defenses. In 1995, Prof. Ronald’s group isolated a rice immune receptor, called XA21, which drives resistance to a disease-causing bacterium called Xanthomonas oryzae. The researchers hypothesized that the receptor XA21 was activated via a molecule secreted by the bacterium.

Nearly 15 years later, the team published two papers showing that the receptor XA21 recognizes a small bacterial protein called Ax21. They also showed that a mutant strain of Xanthomonas oryzae, which lacked the gene for Ax21, could successfully infect rice leaves.

But new lab members could not repeat the earlier results, and the group started to question its own findings. The group members eventually discovered that a bacterial strain they had been using was contaminated and a bioassay they had relied on was flawed, so they retracted their PLOS ONE and Science papers.

Prof. Ronald and her group members have now published a new PeerJ paper investigating the function of the bacterial protein Ax21, and they present data that corrects their previous model.

If you want to learn about microbial infection of plants, or if you are curious about ‘clean-up operation’ when you uncover experimental mistakes, visit https://www.peerj.com/ask/PlantMicrobeInteractions, leave your questions at any time – before, during, and after the event – and get all your questions answered!

Prof. Ronald, Dr. Bahar, Dr. Pruitt, Dr. Schwessinger, and Dr. Daudi will be online and interacting on Tuesday, February 18th, 9 am – 10 am PST.

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