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!
Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion
26.07.2017 | Penn State
New virus discovered in migratory bird in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
26.07.2017 | Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.07.2017 | Life Sciences
26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences