Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers identify genes key to hormone production in plants

07.04.2008
Researchers at North Carolina State University have pinpointed a small group of genes responsible for “telling” plants when, where and how to produce a hormone that is key to their development. Their findings shed light on the ways in which hormone production in plants affects both a plant’s growth and its ability to adapt to changing environments.

Dr. Jose Alonso, assistant professor of genetics, and a team of geneticists and plant biologists from NC State, Germany and the Czech Republic conducted the research. Their findings are published in the April 4 edition of the journal Cell.

Plant growth and development are regulated by a small number of hormones, which plants combine in various ways so that they can adapt to and thrive in changing environmental conditions. Auxin and ethylene are two of the most important of these growth-regulating hormones.

Scientists had previously established that plants respond differently to ethylene depending upon the type of plant tissue it is applied to, the developmental stage of the plant, and the surrounding environmental conditions. They also knew that the presence of auxin, another key growth-regulator, often served as a “trigger” for a plant to produce more ethylene, but were unsure of the ways in which auxin was synthesized.

... more about:
»Auxin »ethylene »hormone

“Auxin controls almost every process in a plant,” Alonso says, “and so it’s very important to understand how and why auxin is produced within the plant.”

In order to find out more about how auxin production is triggered, the NC State team identified a mutant strain of Arabidopsis – or mustard weed – that had a root system insensitive to the growth inhibitory effect of ethylene.

When the team looked at the genome of this mutant strain of mustard weed, they discovered that its lack of response to ethylene was due to the changes in a gene that they named TAA1. This gene produces a protein that is necessary for auxin synthesis. In a normal plant, the TAA1 gene recognizes the presence of ethylene as its signal to make proteins that in turn synthesize auxin, which controls growth.

The researchers found that if the TAA1 gene and two other related genes were “knocked out” or inactive, the plant had 50 percent less auxin than normal.

Their findings are the first to definitively establish a relationship between a particular family of genes, tissue-specific ethylene response, and auxin production in plants.

“If we want to do intelligent manipulation of plants, to breed them so that they ripen at a certain rate, or so that they’re well-adapted to particular environments, then we need to understand more about the ways that these hormones interact or ‘talk’ to each other,” Alonso says. “This research gives us concrete evidence for at least one way in which this happens.”

Tracey Peake | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ncsu.edu

Further reports about: Auxin ethylene hormone

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Stiffness matters
22.02.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Separate brain systems cooperate during learning, study finds
22.02.2018 | Brown 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: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

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...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

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...

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...

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

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>