Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers: Protein family key to helping plants adapt

14.10.2002


Researchers have discovered how a recently identified family of plant proteins assists in stopping gene function, a finding that may help produce plants resistant to environmental stresses such as saline soil, drought and cold.



The proteins, AtCPLs, apparently play a crucial role in triggering a gene that controls plants’ reactions to stressful conditions, said Purdue University researchers. They, along with collaborators at the University of Arizona, published their findings in two papers appearing in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

AtCPLs are enzymes of a protein family that in humans controls initiation of gene activation. The family is called the C-terminal domain phosphates family.


Specifically, this enzyme family controls RNA required to produce messenger RNA, the initial product of the gene expression process. RNA, a molecule closely related to DNA, serves as a blueprint that tells cells to manufacture specific proteins.

"This family of proteins, AtCPLs, is undefined in plants," said Mike Hasegawa, co-senior author of a study describing two of the proteins. "The members we examined have both overlapping and unique functions, and this is novel."

Hasegawa, co-senior author Ray Bressan, and their team uncovered the proteins’ function by studying mutated Arabidopsis thaliana, a common research plant, to determine its response to the stress of growing in salty soil. The same mutations, called cpl1 and cpl3, also seem to alter response to cold and drought, and alter growth and flowering time.

"It’s become the prevailing feeling that when a plant senses its environment and signals to provide defense, the process turns on and off a number of different signal pathways that ultimately control the expression of specific genes that are required for adaptation," said Hasegawa, a horticulture professor.

"This research identifies a new temporal component of gene regulation that occurs after the initiation of transcription of the gene and seems to regulate important stress response processes of plants."

Transcription is when RNA copies and transfers the gene’s instructions to the cell onto a template of DNA.

Hasegawa, Bressan and their colleagues have mainly focused on plant adaptability to soil salinity. However, by working with a number of different mutations, they have identified genes that are relevant for plant adaptation to other environmental stresses such as cold and drought.

Now the scientists are investigating other proteins that may be involved in plant reaction to environmental stress. They hope to determine the overlapping and unique functions of AtCPL family members so they can use bioengineering to improve plant tolerance for adverse growing conditions.

The other researchers involved in the study in which Hasegawa and Bressan are principal investigators are: research biologist Hisashi Koiwa, Adam Barb, biomedical engineering senior research assistant Fang Li, Michael McCully, post doctoral fellow Irina Sokolchik, Zhizhong Gong, graduate research assistant Altanbadralt Sharkhuu and Yuzuki Manabe, and Shuji Yokoi all of the Purdue Department of Horticulture Center for Plant Environmental Stress Physiology. From the University of Arizona Department of Plant Sciences senior investigator Jianhau Zhu and researchers Liming Xiong, Jian-Kang Zhu, and Byeong-ha Lee. Muppala Reddy of Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Researcher Institute in India also participated in the study.

A National Science Foundation Plant Genome Award and a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Research Initiative Grant provided funding for this project.

Writer: Susan A. Steeves, (765) 496-7481, ssteeves@purdue.edu

Sources: Paul M. (Mike) Hasegawa, (765) 494-1315, paul.m.hasewaga.1@purdue.edu

Ray Bressan, (765) 494-1336, bressan@hort.purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu

Susan A. Steeves | Purdue News
Further information:
http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/html4ever/020903.Hasegawa.plntstress.html
http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>