They discovered how the needed transport protein turns up at the underside of plant cells. The discovery helps us to understand how plants grow, and how they organize themselves in order to grow. The scientific journal Nature published the news in advance on its website.
Versatile hormoneIt is known for a long time that the plant hormone auxin is transmitted from the top to the bottom of a plant, and that the local concentration of auxin is important for the growth direction of stems, the growth of roots, the sprouting of shoots. To name a few things; auxin is also relevant to, for instance, the ripening of fruit, the clinging of climbers and a series of other processes. Thousands of researchers try to understand the different roles of auxin.
In many instances the distribution of auxin in the plant plays a key role, and thus the transport from cell to cell. At the bottom of plant cells, so-called PIN proteins are located on the cell membrane, helping auxin to flow through to the lower cell. However, no one thoroughly understood why the PIN proteins only showed up at the bottom of a cell.
An international group of scientists from labs in five countries, headed by Jirí Friml of the VIB-department Plant Systems Biology at Ghent University, revealed a rather unusual mechanism. PIN proteins are made in the protein factories of the cell and are transported all over the cell membrane. Subsequently they are engulfed by the cell membrane, a process called endocytosis. The invagination closes to a vesicle, disconnects and moves back into the cell. Thus the PIN proteins are recycled and subsequently transported to the bottom of the cell, where they are again incorporated in the cell membrane. It is unclear why plants use such a complex mechanism, but a plausible explanation is this mechanism enables a quick reaction when plant cells feel a change of direction of gravity, giving them a new ‘underside’.
To see the path of the protein, the researchers used gene technology to make cells in which the PIN protein was linked to fluorescent proteins. (This technology was rewarded with the Nobel Prize 2008 for chemistry.) Subsequently they produced cells in which the endocytosis was disrupted in two different ways.
The PIN proteins showed up all over the cell membrane. When the researchers proceeded from single cells to plant embryos, the embryos developed deformations, because the pattern of auxin concentrations in the embryo was distorted. When these plants with disrupted endocytosis grew further, roots developed where the first leaflet should have been.
Inge Geysen | alfa
Complementing conventional antibiotics
24.05.2018 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering
24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy