Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


MU Researchers Make Discovery in Molecular Mechanics of Phototropism

Phototropism is the directional growth of plants toward or away from light

In a paper published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, scientists at the University of Missouri-Columbia reported molecular-level discoveries about the mechanisms of phototropism, the directional growth of plants toward or away from light.

Phototropism is initiated when photoreceptors in a plant sense directional blue light. Understanding phototropism is important because it could lead to crop improvement, said Mannie Liscum, professor in the Division of Biological Sciences in MU's College of Arts and Science and Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center.

"By understanding how phototropism works at a molecular level, we can work toward engineering plants that produce more biomass or have increased drought tolerance, among other things. For example, we could use this information to optimize plants' ability to capture light for photosynthesis, which would result in more energy capture and thus growth, or potentially agronomically useful biomass," Liscum said.

... more about:
»NPH3 »directional »phosphate »phototropism

Liscum and doctoral student Ullas Pedmale studied the regulation of phototropic signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana, a weedy flowering plant commonly used as a model in laboratory studies. Focusing on non-phototropic hypocotyls 3 (NPH3), a protein known to be essential for phototropic responses, they examined its phosphorylation, the addition or removal of a phosphate group to the protein molecule. Using a series of pharmacological treatments and immunoblot assays, the team discovered that NPH3 was a phosphorylated protein - a protein with a phosphate group attached - in seedlings grown in the darkness. When the seedlings were exposed to light, they became dephosphorylated, or lost their phosphate group.

These results suggest that the absorption of light by phot1, the dominant receptor controlling phototropism, leads to NPH3's loss of a phosphate group, allowing further progression of phototropic signaling.

"We found that exposure to directional blue light stimulated NPH3's dephosphorylation," Liscum said. "NPH3 exists as a phosphorylated protein in darkness and is rapidly dephosphorylated by a yet unidentified protein phosphatase in response to phot1 photoactivation by blue light."

Liscum and Pedmale now plan to study which amino acids on NPH3 are reversibly phosporylated and how NPH3 is involved in regulating other processes within plants.

Katherine Kostiuk | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: NPH3 directional phosphate phototropism

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>