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 Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections
25.09.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

25.09.2017 | Trade Fair News

Highest-energy cosmic rays have extragalactic origin

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>