Just like animals and humans, plants are constantly challenged by microbes. In fact, plants live in the soil surrounded by microbes and cannot move to a safer place when needed. However, they do not get sick very often and, unlike us, they do not produce lymphocytes or antibodies to fight the infection. So, how do plants stay healthy? The search for answers has won Assistant Professor of biology Cristian “Colo” Danna one of the National Science Foundation’s coveted CAREER awards, which recognizes the country’s most promising junior faculty members in the science and engineering. Instead of manufacturing lymphocytes and antibodies to attack the pathogens they detect, plants respond by withholding the vital nutrients that those microbes need to multiply and produce an infection. This view is radically different from the more traditional conception of immune defense animals, which almost always involve counter attacking and actively killing the microbial invaders.