Scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München have now discovered that Arabidopsis thaliana plants can fix atmospheric nitric oxide (NO) with the aid of plant hemoglobin proteins. Using this previously unknown mechanism, these plants can contribute to the improvement of air quality. The results of the research have now been published in the journal ‘Plant, Cell & Environment’.
In Germany, the emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx) amounts to approximately 1.3 million tons per year *. These emissions are mainly caused by combustion processes in industrial facilities and engines.
In humans, the gaseous pollutants particularly irritate the mucous membranes in the respiratory organs and eyes. Until now it was assumed that plants cannot absorb atmospheric NO. Now, researchers of the Institute of Biochemical Plant Pathology (BIOP), in collaboration with staff of the former Institute of Soil Ecology (IBÖ), the Research Unit Experimental Environmental Simulation (EUS) and the Research Unit Analytical BioGeoChemistry (BGC) at Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered the underlying mechanism that Arabidopsis thaliana plants use to draw NO directly from the air, which they subsequently fix into their nitrogen metabolism.
“We observed that fumigation with high levels of nitric oxide was not toxic, but rather actually improved plant growth,” said Dr. Christian Lindermayr of the Institute of Biochemical Plant Pathology at Helmholtz Zentrum München.
“The mechanism is believed to have originated in order to ensure the survival of plants located at sites with nitrogen deficiency,” said Dr. Gitto Kuruthukulangarakoola, first author of the study who is also a researcher at BIOP.
With regard to the air quality in cities with high concentrations of nitrogen oxides, this property of Arabidopsis thaliana plants could contribute significantly to the reduction of NO and thus improve air quality. This finding may be especially significant for future urban planning in metropolitan areas and may contribute to improved living conditions there.
Kuruthukulangarakoola, G.T. et al. Nitric oxide-fixation by non-symbiotic hemoglobin proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana under N-limited conditions, Plant Cell Environ. 2016 May 31. doi: 10.1111/pce.12773. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pce.12773/full
The Helmholtz Zentrum München the German Research Center for Environmental Health, pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich and has about 2,300 staff members. It is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 18 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 37,000 staff members. http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/index.html
The focal point of the research work carried out by the Institute of Biochemical Plant Pathology (BIOP) is the examination of molecular mechanisms that plants use to adapt to their environment. These include genetic and biochemical processes which control the growth, physiological state and defence mechanisms of the plants. The aim of the research is to better understand the fundamental principles and mechanisms of the interaction between plants and their environment and to develop sustainable strategies for the cultivation and use of plants to protect natural resources. http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/biop
Dr. PD. Christian Lindermayr
Helmholtz Zentrum München -
German Center for Environmental Health
Institute of Biochemical Plant Pathology
Ingolstädter Landstr. 1
Phone: +49 89 3187 2285
Sonja Opitz | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University
Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017
25.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
26.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
26.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy