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 High-performance self-assembled catalyst for SOFC
12.10.2018 | Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology(UNIST)

nachricht How the grid cell system of the brain maps mental spaces
12.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

Im Focus: Dynamics of individual proteins

New measurement method allows researchers to precisely follow the movement of individual molecules over long periods of time

The function of proteins – the molecular tools of the cell – is governed by the interplay of their structure and dynamics. Advances in electron microscopy have...

Im Focus: Researchers discover how fatal biofilms form

By severely curtailing the effects of antibiotics, the formation of organized communities of bacterial cells known as biofilms can be deadly during surgeries and in urinary tract infections. Yale researchers have just come a lot closer to understanding how these biofilms develop, and potentially how to stop them.

Biofilms form when bacterial cells gather and develop structures that bond them in a gooey substance. This glue can protect the cells from the outside world...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

Major Project: The New Silk Road

01.10.2018 | Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The future of electronic devices: Strong and self-healing ion gels

12.10.2018 | Materials Sciences

Light switch: Scientists develop method to control nanoscale manipulation in high-powered microscopes

12.10.2018 | Materials Sciences

Smaller, more frequent eruptions affect volcanic flare-ups

12.10.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>