This plasticity is of crucial importance for crop productivity in variable, heterogeneous environments; it is thus a target for varietal breeding operations. However, to date, it has not been studied in detail. The modelling tool developed by the Oryzon project, which has just been completed, can now be used for this purpose in the case of rice.
It offers the possibility of simulating how new organs develop in rice plants, depending on assimilated nurtient availability within the plant. That availability is reflected in the levels of certain sugars. Sugar concentration is governed by enzyme activity, and acts as a signal, and thus as a regulator, in the zones that give rise to new organs. Plants thus adjust their morphology (root system and leaf size and number). It is these parameters that govern access to nutrient stocks, environmental stress resistance and competition with weeds.
To achieve this result, numerous observations were carried out, in controlled environments, on a range of rice varieties and mutants subjected to various constraints: phosphorus deficiency, shade periods, drought, etc. The morphogenesis of the rice plants and their organs, sugar content and key enzyme activity were measured. One major plasticity mechanism was demonstrated: in response to a phosphorus deficiency, root growth is stimulated–no doubt to improve access to the available phosphorus–through repeated inhibition of aerial system growth. This reduces carbon demand from the aerial organs, surplus assimilated nutritients are set aside and root growth is accelerated. Conversely, in the event of low sunshine levels, root system growth is inhibited in favour of leaf and stem elongation–no doubt in the search for light–while organogenesis is slowed down.
Modelling these adaptation processes could also serve to develop powerful molecular markers for use in varietal creation, avoiding the need for genetically modified organisms.
Helen Burford | alfa
How much drought can a forest take?
20.01.2017 | University of California - Davis
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences