Now a Korean-Swiss research team under the co-leadership of plant physiologists at the University of Zurich identified a protein that regulates calcium transport in the plant root and up to the shoot. For plant breeding, the specific transport protein provides a first step toward correcting deficiency symptoms in food plants.
Blossom end rot on tomatoes
Spotty apple due to poor calcium distribution
Blossom end rot on tomatoes and cucumbers, spotty apples – these unpleasant blemishes on fruits and vegetables not only compromises the flavor but also causes significant harvest losses every year. The characteristic blotches and spotting can be traced back to insufficient calcium uptake or faulty calcium transport within the plant. Consequently, the damage can occur even if the soil provides sufficient calcium.
A team under the leadership of scientists from the University of Zurich and Pohang University of Science and Technology, Korea, has for the first time identified a protein which is responsible for the calcium transport from the root to the shoot. "Without this transport protein, plants exhibit stunted growth," explains Enrico Martinoia, Professor for Molecular Plant Physiology at the University of Zurich.
Calcium uptake through the root epidermis
Calcium provides stable cell walls for plants and transmits signals within the cells. Calcium concentration varies within the plant depending on area, which requires complex regulation and transport mechanisms. How and from which tissue calcium ions are taken up by the roots and transported to the shoot of the plant was largely unknown before. In order to settle these questions, the scientists examined the cultivated plant Brassica Juncea, commonly known as brown or Indian mustard, and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, or thale cress. The researchers identified a specific transport protein which advances calcium ions from the root into the shoot.
In their article recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they also show that the calcium uptake occurs via the root epidermis and not through the endoderm as earlier presumed. The identification of the transport protein for calcium is a first step in eliminating the formidable deficiency symptoms in food plants.
Nathalie Huber | Universität Zürich
New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations
16.01.2018 | University of California - San Diego
Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered
16.01.2018 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.01.2018 | Awards Funding