Aymeric Leveau (JIC)
Nicotiana benthamiana, a relative of the tobacco plant, is commonly used in plant research. Here, the leaf is used as a host organism to produce components of avenacin, a fluorescent antimicrobial produced by oat roots, which protects the roots from soil pathogens. A cluster of genes - the Sad genes - have been identified in oat as the instructions used to produce avenacin. The blue spots indicate the presence of parts of the avenacin compound introduced by inserting some of the Sad genes into the host plant. The other spots are controls to test the expression system.