Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers: Protein family key to helping plants adapt

14.10.2002


Researchers have discovered how a recently identified family of plant proteins assists in stopping gene function, a finding that may help produce plants resistant to environmental stresses such as saline soil, drought and cold.



The proteins, AtCPLs, apparently play a crucial role in triggering a gene that controls plants’ reactions to stressful conditions, said Purdue University researchers. They, along with collaborators at the University of Arizona, published their findings in two papers appearing in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

AtCPLs are enzymes of a protein family that in humans controls initiation of gene activation. The family is called the C-terminal domain phosphates family.


Specifically, this enzyme family controls RNA required to produce messenger RNA, the initial product of the gene expression process. RNA, a molecule closely related to DNA, serves as a blueprint that tells cells to manufacture specific proteins.

"This family of proteins, AtCPLs, is undefined in plants," said Mike Hasegawa, co-senior author of a study describing two of the proteins. "The members we examined have both overlapping and unique functions, and this is novel."

Hasegawa, co-senior author Ray Bressan, and their team uncovered the proteins’ function by studying mutated Arabidopsis thaliana, a common research plant, to determine its response to the stress of growing in salty soil. The same mutations, called cpl1 and cpl3, also seem to alter response to cold and drought, and alter growth and flowering time.

"It’s become the prevailing feeling that when a plant senses its environment and signals to provide defense, the process turns on and off a number of different signal pathways that ultimately control the expression of specific genes that are required for adaptation," said Hasegawa, a horticulture professor.

"This research identifies a new temporal component of gene regulation that occurs after the initiation of transcription of the gene and seems to regulate important stress response processes of plants."

Transcription is when RNA copies and transfers the gene’s instructions to the cell onto a template of DNA.

Hasegawa, Bressan and their colleagues have mainly focused on plant adaptability to soil salinity. However, by working with a number of different mutations, they have identified genes that are relevant for plant adaptation to other environmental stresses such as cold and drought.

Now the scientists are investigating other proteins that may be involved in plant reaction to environmental stress. They hope to determine the overlapping and unique functions of AtCPL family members so they can use bioengineering to improve plant tolerance for adverse growing conditions.

The other researchers involved in the study in which Hasegawa and Bressan are principal investigators are: research biologist Hisashi Koiwa, Adam Barb, biomedical engineering senior research assistant Fang Li, Michael McCully, post doctoral fellow Irina Sokolchik, Zhizhong Gong, graduate research assistant Altanbadralt Sharkhuu and Yuzuki Manabe, and Shuji Yokoi all of the Purdue Department of Horticulture Center for Plant Environmental Stress Physiology. From the University of Arizona Department of Plant Sciences senior investigator Jianhau Zhu and researchers Liming Xiong, Jian-Kang Zhu, and Byeong-ha Lee. Muppala Reddy of Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Researcher Institute in India also participated in the study.

A National Science Foundation Plant Genome Award and a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Research Initiative Grant provided funding for this project.

Writer: Susan A. Steeves, (765) 496-7481, ssteeves@purdue.edu

Sources: Paul M. (Mike) Hasegawa, (765) 494-1315, paul.m.hasewaga.1@purdue.edu

Ray Bressan, (765) 494-1336, bressan@hort.purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu

Susan A. Steeves | Purdue News
Further information:
http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/html4ever/020903.Hasegawa.plntstress.html
http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | 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

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>