Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sexual frustration: programmed cell death prevents plant inbreeding

21.05.2004


Scientists have demonstrated the importance of programmed cell death in preventing inbreeding in plants, according to research published in Nature today. Researchers at the University of Birmingham School of Biosciences have found that self-incompatibility, an important mechanism in plants that prevents them fertilizing themselves with their own pollen, which is genetically controlled by products of the S locus, triggers programmed cell death in incompatible pollen coming into contact with the stigma.



The work, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), was carried out on the field poppy, Papaver rhoeas and has shown the involvement of programmed cell death (PCD) in plant self-incompatibility for the first time. PCD is a mechanism used by many organisms to destroy unwanted cells in a precise and regulated manner and in various forms it plays a crucial role determining development in many things from embryos to tumours.

The researchers, using methods common in the study of animal cells but not widely used with plant cells, found that S proteins encoded by the stigma component of the S locus interacted with incompatible pollen to inhibit pollen tube growth and to trigger PCD. It has been known that plants use PCD to fight disease but it had not been proven that it was involved in self-incompatibility.


“Many researchers have been studying self-incompatibility in order to try to establish the mechanisms that plants use for this type of selective ‘contraception’ against unwanted ‘self’ or genetically identical pollen,’ says Dr Noni Franklin-Tong, who led the research group. ‘Our study, which provides the first demonstration of a self-incompatibility system using Programmed Cell Death, is a significant advance in our understanding of how plants inhibit ‘self’ pollen. By recognizing ‘self’ pollen and then causing it to commit ‘suicide’, this SI mechanism we have discovered in poppy provides a highly novel way to prevent self-fertilization.”

Most notably, the research provides evidence that a “caspase-like” activity is involved. Although caspases are known to be key enzymes involved in programmed cell death in animal cells this is a contentious finding because no caspase sequence has been identified in the Arabidopsis genome. Although it does not prove there is a caspase in plants, it does suggest a gene encoding a protein with a similar activity exists in plants.

Andrew McLaughlin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/media

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion
26.07.2017 | Penn State

nachricht New virus discovered in migratory bird in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
26.07.2017 | Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>