Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Moving genes have scientists seeing spots

09.09.2013
Live imaging reveals for the first time gene motion in cell nucleus

An international team of scientists led by the UK's John Innes Centre and including scientists from Australia, Japan, the US and France has perfected a way of watching genes move within a living plant cell.

Using this technique scientists watched glowing spots, which marked the position of the genes, huddle together in the cold as the genes were switched "off".

"The movement of genes within the nucleus, captured here using live imaging, seems to play a role in switching their activity on and off", said first author Stefanie Rosa from the John Innes Centre.

"In our study, we tracked genes involved in accelerating flowering in response to cold, but the movement of genes could be important in all areas of biology."

"Studying gene motion could improve our understanding of how environmental cues and nurture impact on nature and gene expression."

The research will be published on Thursday in the international journal Genes & Development.

"What is remarkable about this finding is that we saw genes move in response to changes in the environment, and that this movement seems to be involved in genetic control," said Associate Professor Josh Mylne.

He initiated the approach almost 10 years ago as he embarked on his career at the John Innes Centre and is now .

"The gene we studied (FLC) allows plants to respond to changes in the season. When FLC gets turned off (by cold), the plant starts to make flowers instead of leaves. We knew FLC was switched off by cold, but we had no idea that FLC genes would congregate as they get switched off."

Previous to this research, plant genes were studied by cutting up plants, killing the cells and fixing them to glass slides. Researchers can now watch genes move inside living plants.

Although the study is of interest to researchers by providing an understanding of how FLC moves as it is turned off, it can be applied to any gene in plants or animals. The major benefit of this approach is that it allows researchers to monitor a gene in whole, living organisms.

"What we want to know now is what is happening at these sites where the genes are congregating," Associate Professor Mylne said. "Are the genes going somewhere special inside the cell? What takes them there and how do the chromosomes move and let the genes congregate? How many other genes congregate like this when they get turned off?

"There are so many new questions this discovery will help us answer."

This work was supported in part by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the European Research Council. It is available at: http://www.genesdev.org/cgi/doi/10.1101/gad.221713.113

Zoe Dunford | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: Moving genes areas of biology living organism living plants

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement
26.06.2017 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

nachricht New insight into a central biological dogma on ion transport
26.06.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>