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 "Lorenzos oil". Treatment of cts mutants with a plant version of Lorenzos 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 Lorenzos 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
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy