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
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
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
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,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences
07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences
07.12.2016 | Materials Sciences