Plants adapt their growth, including key steps in their life cycle such as germination and flowering, to take advantage of environmental conditions. They can also repress growth when their environment is not favourable. This involves many complex signalling pathways which are integrated by the plant growth hormone gibberellin.
Publishing in the journal Current Biology, the researchers looked at how plants evolved this ability by looking at the genes involved in the gibberellin signalling pathway in a wide range of plants. They discovered that it was not until the flowering plants evolved 300 million years ago that plants gained the ability to repress growth in response to environmental cues.
All land plants evolved from an aquatic ancestor, and it was after colonisation of the land that the gibberellin mechanism evolved. The earliest land plants to evolve were the bryophyte group, which includes liverworts, hornworts and ancestral mosses, many of which still exist today. The ancestral mosses have their own copies of the genes, but the proteins they make do not interact with each other and can’t repress growth. However, the moss proteins work the same as their more recently evolved counterparts when transferred into modern flowering plants.
The lycophyte group, which evolved 400 million years ago, were the first plants to evolve vascular tissues - specialized tissues for transporting water and nutrients through the plant. This group of plants also have the genes involved in the gibberellin signalling mechanism, and the products of their genes are able to interact with each other, and the hormone gibberellin. However this still does not result in growth repression. Not until the evolution of the gymnosperms (flowering plants) 300 million years ago are these interacting proteins able to repress growth. This group of plants became the most dominant, and make up the majority of plant species we see today.
Evolution of this growth control mechanism appears to have happened in a series of steps, which this study is able to associate with major stages in the evolution of today’s flowering plants. It also involves two types of evolutionary change. As well as structural changes that allow the proteins to interact, flowering plants have also changed the range of genes that are turned on and off in response to these proteins. This work was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
Zoe Dunford | alfa
Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences