Up to now it was thought that nutrients penetrated the interior of plant cells by means of substance-specific transporters. Nevertheless, researchers at the Agrobiotechnology Institute at the Public University of Navarra have shown that the nutrients (saccharose, amino-acids, etc.) penetrate the cells basically through an “endocitic”, mechanism similar to fagocitosis, and induced by saccharose. This finding, carried by the latest issue of the Japanese journal, Plant Cell Physiology, will enable the design of experiments aimed at enhancing vegetable species in the interest of humanity.
Researchers at the Institute have shown that, in the presence of saccharose (a substance produced in leaves to be subsequently distributed around the plant), the cells of the reserve organs - such as roots, tubers, seeds or fruits - “swallow up” nutrients in order to metabolise and store them. These “swallowed-up” substances are incorporated into micro-vesicles that end up pouring their contents into an internal compartment of a vegetable cell known as the vacuola. Once inside the vacuola, the substances or nutrients are broken up, stored and metabolised.
Two processes of captation
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