Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UWE scientists find link between wilting plants and impotence

22.02.2002


Researchers studying plant behaviour have discovered similarities between the processes preventing plants from wilting and humans from suffering impotence. Data recently published by the University of the West of England shows the same chemical chain of events is involved in both situations - and has led to an understanding of how water loss from plants might be reduced.



This blocking action has parallels with the chemical effect of impotence treatments in humans. Plants lose water through their stomata, small pores surrounded by guard cells, that cover the leaves. The signals governing the opening and closing of a plant`s stomata are closely allied to the way human blood vessels contract and relax to control blood flow.

The key finding of the research concerns the role played by nitric oxide in the closure of the plant`s stomata. Researchers from UWE`s Faculty of Applied Sciences demonstrated this in a series of experiments in which chemicals to `scavenge` nitric oxide or inhibit its action were added. The reaction of the cells could be clearly measured under the microscope. In other tests, fluorescent dyes that react to the presence of nitric oxide were added to show the effect of different `scavengers` on the guard cells under a special confocal microscope.


This discovery could have wide practical implications for developing drought- resistant plants for areas of the world suffering severe water shortages. Possible ways of achieving this include selective breeding or by the addition of agrochemicals acting as a form of Viagra for plants.

"It has been known for some time that a stress hormone called abscisic acid or ABA is activated in plants under certain conditions such as drought," said lead researcher Dr Steve Neill, of UWE`s Centre for Research in Plant Science.

"What wasn`t clear before was the important role played by nitric oxide. This substance, well-known as a signal molecule in humans, is made in response to ABA and causes the formation of a messenger molecule that acts inside the guard cells. This offers a new opportunity to manipulate a plant`s water requirements which could impact significantly on crop productivity."

Julia Weston | alphagalileo

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>