As a result of the worldwide growing population, the output of agricultural crops has to double by 2050. To address this challenge, the world needs new varieties of plants, with higher yield per hectare than current varieties. "The major driving force behind plant growth is cell division," says Geert De Jaeger, group leader at VIB and Ghent University. "If you understand the machinery that governs this process, you have the key to increase agricultural yield."
Four years and 300 experiments
The research, which took four years and more than 300 experiments to complete, was conducted by Jelle Van Leene and colleagues from De Jaeger's team, together with Erwin Witters of the University of Antwerp. The researchers have now published the complete map of the machinery behind cell division in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. During their experiments, the researchers discovered more than 100 new proteins involved in the process.
TAP: a combination of transgenic technology, protein purification, mass spectrometry and bioinformatics
Many proteins with an essential role in the cell cycle of plants have been revealed by the global sequencing projects of recent years. Until now, little was known about the interactions between these proteins, the actual core of the machinery. The newly developed 'Tandem Affinity Purification (TAP) Platform' allows researchers to quickly unravel the interactions between the proteins involved. TAP requires a multidisciplinary approach, combining transgenic technology, protein purification, mass spectrometry and bioinformatics.
Joris Gansemans | EurekAlert!
Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
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A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
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23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
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23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy