Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Plant mothers talk to their embryos via the hormone auxin

17.07.2018

Scientists solve long-standing question about signal that regulates embryo development – Study in Nature Plants

While pregnancy in humans and seed development in plants look very different, parallels exist – not least that the embryo develops in close connection with the mother. In animals, a whole network of signals from the mother is known to influence embryo development.


Arabidopsis developing seed: Auxin (here visualized in green) is produced and accumulates in the maternal tissue close to the young embryo.

Chulmin Park

In plants, it has been clear for a while that maternal signals regulate embryo development. However, the signal itself was unknown – until now. Plant scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria), Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) and the University of Freiburg have now found that a plant hormone, called auxin, from the mother is one of the signals that pattern the plant embryo. Their study is published today in Nature Plants.

“Plant scientists have been trying to figure out the nature of the signal between mother and embryo for decades”, explains Jiri Friml, Professor at IST Austria and one of the corresponding authors. “We show that the mother is the source of auxin which regulates early embryo development.”

Auxin is a hormone that plays many roles in the development of plants, and has been known to regulate embryo development. By visualizing the biosynthesis of and the response to auxin, the researchers show that the maternal tissue which surrounds the embryo in the seed starts to produce more auxin after fertilization.

The authors then go on to show that this increased maternal auxin production is crucial for the embryo: when auxin production is interrupted, the embryo does not develop correctly. And it is specifically maternal auxin that plays this important role. When the researchers set up a cross between plants so that the mother does not produce auxin but the embryo does, the same defects in embryo development are seen – proving that auxin from the mother is the key developmental signal.

However, auxin is not the only maternal signal influencing the embryo, Friml explains: “When we stop the supply of auxin from the mother to the embryo, the embryo grows abnormally, but it still manages to develop somehow. This means that there must be another, auxin-independent, signal.” The paper is a collaboration between Jiri Friml and his group, notably Helene S. Robert, a previous Post-doc of Friml and now group leader at CEITEC in Brno, and the group of Thomas Laux at the University of Freiburg.

IST Austria
The Institute of Science and Technology (IST Austria) is a PhD-granting research institution located in Klosterneuburg, 18 km from the center of Vienna, Austria. Inaugurated in 2009, the Institute is dedicated to basic research in the natural and mathematical sciences. IST Austria employs professors on a tenure-track system, postdoctoral fellows, and doctoral students. While dedicated to the principle of curiosity-driven research, the Institute owns the rights to all scientific discoveries and is committed to promote their use. The first president of IST Austria is Thomas A. Henzinger, a leading computer scientist and former professor at the University of California in Berkeley, USA, and the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. The graduate school of IST Austria offers fully-funded PhD positions to highly qualified candidates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in biology, neuroscience, mathematics, computer science, physics, and related areas. www.ist.ac.at

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Prof. Jiri Friml
jiri.friml@ist.ac.at

Originalpublikation:

Helene S. Robert, et al. “Maternal auxin supply contributes to early embryo patterning in Arabidopsis”, Nature Plants, DOI: 10.1038/s41477-018-0204-z

Weitere Informationen:

http://ist.ac.at/en/research/research-groups/friml-group/ Website of Jiri Friml's research group

Dr. Elisabeth Guggenberger | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells
12.12.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Smelling the forest – not the trees
12.12.2018 | Universität Konstanz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

CCNY-Yale researchers make shape shifting cell breakthrough

12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>