alexa RAPID ACTIVE DEFENSES: At the membrane

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The host membrane appears to be involved in the earliest stages of pathogen recognition and signal transduction. A change in membrane permeability after exposure to a pathogen causes fluxes in ions, such as K+, H+ and Ca2+, and results in changes to gene activation and the triggering of the defence responses. Also at the membrane, the 'oxidative burst', which involves the generation of reactive oxygen species, such as hydrogen peroxide, triggers signals that affect gene expression, cross-linking in the host cell wall and initiation of later defence responses. The reactive oxygen species at the site of infection are also produced in quantities capable of killing micro-organisms directly.

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