Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New discovery about how flowering time of plants can be controlled

07.12.2010
Researchers at Umeå Plant Science Center in Sweden discovered, in collaboration with the Syngenta company, a previously unknown gene in sugar beets that blocks flowering. Only with the cold of winter is the gene shut off, allowing the sugar beet to blossom in its second year. The discovery of this new gene function makes it possible to control when sugar beets bloom. The new findings were recently published in the prestigious journal Science.

Scientists at Umeå Plant Science Center and the international company Syngenta, in a joint study of genetic regulation in the sugar beet, have discovered an entirely new principle for how flowering can be controlled. The study, which was co-directed by Professorn Ove Nilsson, of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), and Syngenta scientist Dr. Thomas Kraft, showed that there is a gene in the sugar beet that was previously unknown.

“When we studied a gene in the sugar beet that usually stimulates blooming in other plants, we made a very surprising discovery: in the sugar beet evolution has developed a ‘sister gene’ that has taken on the exact opposite function, namely, to inhibit blossoming. For biennial sugar beets this means that they can’t flower in their first year. Once the plants have been exposed to the cold of winter at the end of the first year, the ‘gene blockade is lifted,’ and the sugar beets can bloom in their second year of life,” says Ove Nilsson about the function of the newly discovered flowering gene.

The researchers speculate that the development of the inhibiting sister gene was an important factor in enabling biennial sugar beets to evolve from an annual to a biennial plant. Furthermore, plant researchers in Umeå and Landskrona have shown that it is possible to manipulate the “flowering gene” in such a way as to leave the gene constantly “turned on,” that is, to block blooming, and thereby prevent it from being turned off after winter.

“In that way it’s possible to fully control the flowering time of the sugar beet. This enables us to develop a so-called ‘winter beet,’ that is, a sugar beet that can be planted in the autumn and then will continue to grow throughout the following growth season without blossoming,” says Thomas Kraft at Syngenta Seeds.

“A winter beet has be a high priority for sugar beet growers, since it is estimated to be able to increase the yield by about 25 percent and at the same time allow a more extended harvesting period. Traditional breeding has failed to produce such a plant. Syngenta Seeds is now going to move on to more in-depth tests of this potential new winter beet.”

The research work in this project has been primarily conducted by an industrial doctoral candidate, Pierre Pin, with funding from the Swedish Research Council and Syngenta Seeds AB.

Original publication: Pierre A. Pin, Reyes Benlloch, Dominique Bonnet, Elisabeth Wremerth-Weich, Thomas Kraft, Jan J. L. Gielen, Ove Nilsson. An Antagonistic Pair of FT Homologs Mediates the Control of Flowering Time in Sugar Beet. Science, 3 December 2010.

For more information, please contact:
Prof. Ove Nilsson (Ove.Nilsson@genfys.slu.se, mobile: +46 (0)70-2869082), Umeå Plant Science Center (UPSC), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Umeå University, Umeå, www.upsc.se

Dr. Thomas Kraft (Thomas.Kraft@Syngenta.com, phone: +46 (0)418-437279) Syngenta Seeds AB, Landskrona, www.syngenta.se

Pressofficer Susanne Sjöberg; susanne.sjoberg@adm.slu.se; +46-70 602 4281

Susanne Sjöberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Seeing on the Quick: New Insights into Active Vision in the Brain
15.08.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht New Approach to Treating Chronic Itch
15.08.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>