Researchers at the universities of Leicester and Oxford have made a discovery about plant growth which could potentially have an enormous impact on crop production as global warming increases.
Dr Kerry Franklin, from the University of Leicester Department of Biology led the study which has identified a single gene responsible for controlling plant growth responses to elevated temperature.
Dr Franklin said: "Exposure of plants to high temperature results in the rapid elongation of stems and a dramatic upwards elevation of leaves".
"These responses are accompanied by a significant reduction in plant biomass, thereby severely reducing harvest yield. Our study has revealed that a single gene product regulates all these architectural adaptations in the model plant species, Arabidopsis thaliana."
The work has been published in Current Biology and was funded by the Royal Society and the BBSRC.
Dr Franklin added: "This study provides the first major advance in understanding how plants regulate growth responses to elevated temperature at the molecular level. This discovery will prove fundamental in understanding the effects of global climate change on crop productivity".
"Identification of the mechanisms by which plants sense changes in ambient temperature remains a Holy Grail in plant biology research. Although the identity of such 'temperature sensors' remains elusive, the discovery of a key downstream regulator brings us closer to addressing this important question."
The study has shown that mutant plants, deficient in the regulatory protein PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 4 (PIF4) do not display the dramatic stem elongation and leaf elevation responses observed in wild type plants upon exposure to elevated temperature.
The study has further shown PIF4 to regulate a pathway involving the plant hormone auxin. The PIF4 gene product was previously identified as a co-regulator of light-mediated elongation growth, suggesting plants integrate light and temperature signalling pathways through converged regulation of the same target proteins.
Dr. Kerry Franklin | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Arabidopsis thaliana > Auxin > PIF4 > crop productivity > dramatic stem elongation > global climate change > global warming > holy grail > plant biology research > plant growth responses > plant hormone > plant production > synthetic biology > temperature sensors > wild type plants
Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy