Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists reveal underpinnings of drought tolerance in plants

12.06.2015

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.


Arabidopsis seedlings after recovery from drought stress. Wild type on left, nac016 mutants on right.

Courtesy of Nam-Chon Paek

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.

###

Contact author:

Dr. Nancy R. Hofmann
nhofmann@aspb.org
575-571-8926
The Plant Cell
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9504-1152

Media Contact

Tyrone Spady
tspady@aspb.org
301-251-0560 x121

 @ASPB

http://www.aspb.org 

Tyrone Spady | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Bacteria as pacemaker for the intestine
22.11.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Researchers identify how bacterium survives in oxygen-poor environments
22.11.2017 | Columbia University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

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,...

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

Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation

22.11.2017 | Business and Finance

PPPL scientists deliver new high-resolution diagnostic to national laser facility

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>