Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Helping Tomatoes Cope With Stress May Be Good For Us

26.04.2004


Scientists at the John Innes Centre (JIC)and Institute of Food Research (IFR), Norwich, have today reported the discovery and use of a gene that may help protect plants and humans against disease. The gene (HQT) was identified in tomato and is responsible for producing an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid (CGA).

By increasing the activity of HQT, the scientists raised the levels of CGA in the tomato fruits and this helped protect them against attack from bacterial disease. CGA could also protect humans eating the tomatoes against degenerative, age-related diseases. This report is published online on 25 April in Nature Biotechnology and will be available in the June 2004 hard copy journal.

“Our tomatoes are doubly special” said Dr Cathie Martin (project leader at JIC). “They not only protect themselves against disease, but may benefit humans that eat them by protecting against age-related diseases. For us the excitement is that this adds to our understanding of how plants naturally protect themselves against stress and diseases, but in the long term it may be that this discovery leads to fruits that are better for us”.



The research team were interested in CGA because it is known to be an important antioxidant in both plants and animals. The biochemical pathway that plants use to make CGA was unknown, but a bit of biological detective work led the team to the likely pathway. When experiments confirmed their prediction, they were able to isolate one of the key genes (called HQT) for making CGA. When they suppressed the activity of the HQT gene (using gene silencing) they found that CGA levels in developing tomato fruits fell. The reverse happened when they increased the activity of HQT.

Antioxidants protect against the effects of stress and disease. To test whether higher levels of CGA give added protection the scientists infected the high CGA tomatoes with bacteria that cause tomato blight (Pseudomonas syringae). In the high CGA plants the effect and spread of the disease was significantly less than in the unmodified plants. Similarly, when the plants were tested for resistance to oxidative stress the high CGA plants were more resistant to stress damage than the unmodified plants.

“This research has highlighted for me the incredible ingenuity of plants in coping with their environment”, said Dr Tony Michael (Project Leader at IFR). “Plants possess a whole repertoire of genes involved in producing protective compounds. CGA is the main polyphenol in this category in tomatoes. Now we have identified the gene for the enzyme that produces it, we can look for genes that produce similar compounds in other plants, with benefits for agriculture and for human nutrition”.

The Intellectual Property Rights associated with this discovery are assigned to Plant Bioscience Ltd.

Ray Mathias | alfa
Further information:
http://www.jic.bbsrc.ac.uk

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Filling intercropping info gap
16.11.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture
05.10.2017 | Oregon State University

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: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>