Genome-wide analysis elucidates drought-tolerance system in Arabidopsis
Regions all over the globe are suffering from severe drought, which threatens crop production worldwide. This is especially worrisome given the need to increase, not just maintain, crop yields to feed the increasing global population.
Over the course of evolution, plants have developed mechanisms to adapt to periods of inadequate water, and as any gardener can tell you, some species are better able to handle drought than others.
Accordingly, scientists have invested much effort to understand how plants respond to drought stress and what can be done to increase the drought tolerance of economically important plants. As Dr. Nam-Chon Paek of Seoul National University in Korea stated, 'We all expect that drought will be the major challenge for crop production in the near future.
Understanding drought-responsive signaling and the molecular and biochemical mechanisms of drought tolerance in model plants such as Arabidopsis and rice provide new insight into how to develop drought-tolerant crop plants through conventional breeding or biotechnological approaches.'
Arabidopsis thaliana was the first plant to have its genome sequenced. Paek is the senior author of a paper to be published this week in The Plant Cell that takes advantage of the genetic resources in this model species to reveal important underpinnings of drought responses in plants.
Paek's research group analyzed plants mutated in a regulatory gene called NAC016 and found that the nac016 mutant plants were more resistant to drought. The researchers set out to understand how this drought tolerance came about by comparing the set of expressed genes (the transcriptome) in the mutants to that in normal (so-called wild-type) plants.
According to Paek, 'Genome-wide transcriptome analysis using drought-tolerant or -susceptible variants is a promising method to reach the goal of understanding drought tolerance'. In this case, the scientists discovered that NAC016 is part of a mechanism to turn off responses to drought.
This is important because in the wild, plants likely evolved to keep the drought-response pathways inactive until needed so that they could save the energy the responses would require. For agricultural purposes, though, the ability to control when the pathway is on would be a great boon to developing drought-tolerant crops.
Tyrone Spady | EurekAlert!
Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University
Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences