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
New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy