Most people who get too hot and thirsty this summer can quickly grab a cool drink. Not so for plants. Their roots keep them lingering in stressful situations - sometimes to death. Now a Texas A&M University researcher has identified a system in a mutant arabidopsis, a type of weed, that signals to its cells to go on hold until stressful situations pass.
The involvement of "ER stress signal pathway" in plant stress adaptation was discovered by Dr. Hisashi Koiwa, assistant professor of horticultural sciences, and colleagues. Koiwa is presenting the finding at the annual meeting of American Society of Plant Biologists this week (July 26-31) in Hawaii. The findings also will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal "The Plant Cell."
"A plant will attempt to regulate itself when stressed by adjusting its cells to the environment before starting to grow again," Koiwa said. "It´s as if a plant is saying to itself, - wait, we´re in a drought, let´s adjust before we grow anymore. "A plant must have a better stress handling technique," he added.
Kathleen Phillips | Texas A&M University
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