I wanted to know.... Is there any kind of immune system in plants? The question propped up some days ago during a discussion and I've been thinking but I can't seem to find an answer... Do you know anything about this?
I would suggest you to take a look at the following links.
Plants immunity research and dates back many decades. Plants donot have an adptive immune system- antibodies and T cell responses in higher mammals- but they have an innate defense mechanism which could also be inducible.
Like animals, plants can recognize PAMPs (pathogen associated molecular pattern) using PRRs (pattern recognition receptors). plant PRRs are similar to Toll like receptors in having a LRR (leu rich repeat) and TIR (toll Interleukin-1) domains. Plants also produce antimicrobial factors, pathogenesis related (PR) proteins being one of the well studied ones.
You can visit some of the labs working on plant immune response for more info:
//ausubellab.mgh.harvard.edu/]Ausubel lab[/url]Dangl Lab at UNC
but then why do plants get affected so easily when there is a fungus or some other form of infectious agent? Take the roots for example... when there is a fungal infection the mycelium penetrates the roots and infects the plant once it reaches the xylem, but the plant doesn't protect itself against this or fights against the infection... it always needs some kind of added treatment like fungicides...
All the living organisms have immunity.... In plants the main protective mechanism is by heat stress proteins...
Plants do have immune responses against fungal pathogens. In fact. pathogenic fungi have mechanisma to suppress plant immune response (analogous to e.g viral suppression of immunity in mammals).http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2330162
As with animals, plant immunity is not absolute. The same way you can get an upper respiratory tract infection or tuberculosis (your immune system may clear URT infection on its own but may need an antibiotic regimen for TB esp if immunocompromised), plants can get fungal infections but may or may not be able to clear them. Nutrition, humildity etc play a part in outcome of infection.
A basic Immunology book from the college library may be a good place to start. and then some reviews.