Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Lorenzo’s oil works for plants too


Scientists at Long Ashton Research Station have identified a gene with a pivotal role in regulating seed germination. According to an article published in the January issue of BBSRC business, the Arabidopsis COMATOSE (CTS) gene, is vital for breaking seed dormancy. It is also analogous to the human X-ALD gene, which featured in the 1992 film "Lorenzo’s oil". Treatment of cts mutants with a plant version of Lorenzo’s oil cures their inability to germinate.

The researchers were investigating the genetic control of germination, a key transition in the life of a plant. Once they had cloned the CTS gene, they realised that is analogous to the human adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) gene, mutation of which results in the build-up of very long chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) and ALD disease. Like human ALD sufferers, cts mutant seeds suffer from a variety of effects including inappropriate accumulation of VLCFAs. They are also unable to germinate. Lorenzo’s oil was developed by Augusto Odone for his son, who is an ALD sufferer, and was recently proven effective for the treatment of pre-symptomatic ALD patients. "We wondered whether Lorenzo’s oil would work for plants too" says team leader, Dr Mike Holdsworth. Sure enough, when he treated cts mutant seeds with a similar mixture of oils, the seeds became able to germinate.

The Long Ashton researchers believe that CTS protein is important as a fatty acid transporter, but may also have a key role as a regulator of germination. They are continuing to investigate CTS in Arabidopsis, but are also interested in crops such as wheat and oilseed rape, where dormancy levels are associated with quality and performance.

Dr Mike Holdsworth | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

The gene of autumn colours

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Polymer scaffolds build a better pill to swallow

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>