Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hormone clue to root growth

08.07.2009
Plant roots provide the crops we eat with water, nutrients and anchorage. Understanding how roots grow and how hormones control that growth is crucial to improving crop yields, which will be necessary to address food security and produce better biofuels.

Now an international group of scientists, led by the Centre for Plant Integrative Biology at The University of Nottingham, has shed light on how a plant hormone is crucial in controlling the growth of plant roots.

Plant growth is driven by an increase in two factors: the number of cells, and their size. It is already known that the plant hormone gibberellin controls how root cells elongate as the root grows in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Now a paper appearing in Current Biology describes for first time how this hormone also regulates the number of cells in the root in order to control root growth.

Gibberellin normally acts by signaling the removal of proteins which repress growth, and so promotes root cell production. The new research shows that mutant plants that do not produce gibberellin are unable to increase their cell production rate and the size of the root meristem, the zone of cell proliferation.

Plants in which the cells in the meristem were made to express a mutant version of the growth-repressing protein GAI not degraded by gibberellin showed disrupted cell proliferation. Expressing this mutant form, gai, in only one tissue, the endodermis (the innermost layer of the root cortex of a plant), was sufficient to stop the meristem enlarging. In effect, the rate of expansion of dividing endodermal cells dictates the equivalent rate in other tissues.

This research was headed by Dr Susana Ubeda-Tomás and Professor Malcolm Bennett of the Centre for Plant Integrative Biology, in collaboration with scientists in Nottingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Spain, Belgium and Sweden.

Professor Malcolm Bennett, Biology Director for the Centre for Plant Integrative Biology and Professor of Plant Sciences in the Division of Plant and Crop Sciences, said: “We have shown that gibberellin plays a crucial role in controlling the size of the root meristem, and that it is the endodermis which sets the pace for expansion rates in the other tissues.

“Understanding precisely how hormones regulate plant growth is one of the key areas of fundamental plant biology which will underpin crop improvements in the future.”

The Centre for Plant Integrative Biology (CPIB) is funded by the Systems Biology joint initiative of BBSRC and EPSRC, which has provided £27 million for six specialised centres across the UK.

The Division of Plant and Crop Sciences at The University of Nottingham is one of the largest communities of plant scientists in the UK. Around 160 people work in the Division, which welcomes visiting scientists from all over the world, reinforcing its reputation as a world renowned centre.

Dr Susannah Lydon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History

nachricht New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

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...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>