Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

’Miracle’ moss to give up its secrets

17.08.2004


University of Leeds genetics researchers are part of an international project to determine the genome sequence of the fast-growing moss, Physcomitrella patens. Understanding how this British weed works will help scientists get to the root of how other species live and grow and, potentially, improve their resilience.



The quick-growing moss has been used in plant research for over 30 years as it’s easy to cultivate in laboratories. Genetic information from the project will help investigators explain why some varieties of moss can survive extreme conditions:

Lead UK academic Professor Cove explained why the moss is so special: “Mosses were among the first plants to colonise the land, 450 million years ago. They can do many of the things that the flowering plants have forgotten. Some of their ’primitive’ traits – like the ability to survive extremes of dehydration – would be useful in modern crops. You can take a Victorian sample of some mosses and bring them ’back’ to life years on by just adding water. By studying the genes controlling these traits in the moss, we should be able to identify how these characteristics could be re-awoken in flowering plants.”


Moss expert Professor David Cove and his team will work with Professor Ralph Quatrano from St. Louis and Professor Brent Mishler from the University of California. The sequencing will be carried out by the US Department of Energy. The project builds on 30 years of research in Leeds, Japan, Germany, Switzerland and the USA.

The reasons for mapping the moss’s genome can be found in another international research project. Professor Cove said: “The human genome project is helping us understand genetic causes of disease - and to develop new therapies. It’s clear that much of our knowledge came by comparing the genomes of humans with those of much simpler animals, like flies and worms. Soon, we’ll be able to do the same thing by comparing the genomes of simple and complex plants.”

The genome of the moss is larger than that of the first plant genome sequenced, ’Wonder Weed’, Arabidopsis thaliana – a simple flowering plant used by plant scientists worldwide as a model for the study of plant development.

Hannah Love | alfa
Further information:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cancer cachexia: Extracellular ligand helps to prevent muscle loss
25.02.2020 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

nachricht The genetic secret of night vision
25.02.2020 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: High-pressure scientists in Bayreuth discover promising material for information technology

Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have discovered an unusual material: When cooled down to two degrees Celsius, its crystal structure and electronic properties change abruptly and significantly. In this new state, the distances between iron atoms can be tailored with the help of light beams. This opens up intriguing possibilities for application in the field of information technology. The scientists have presented their discovery in the journal "Angewandte Chemie - International Edition". The new findings are the result of close cooperation with partnering facilities in Augsburg, Dresden, Hamburg, and Moscow.

The material is an unusual form of iron oxide with the formula Fe₅O₆. The researchers produced it at a pressure of 15 gigapascals in a high-pressure laboratory...

Im Focus: From China to the South Pole: Joining forces to solve the neutrino mass puzzle

Study by Mainz physicists indicates that the next generation of neutrino experiments may well find the answer to one of the most pressing issues in neutrino physics

Among the most exciting challenges in modern physics is the identification of the neutrino mass ordering. Physicists from the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA+ at...

Im Focus: Therapies without drugs

Fraunhofer researchers are investigating the potential of microimplants to stimulate nerve cells and treat chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Find out what makes this form of treatment so appealing and which challenges the researchers still have to master.

A study by the Robert Koch Institute has found that one in four women will suffer from weak bladders at some point in their lives. Treatments of this condition...

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Turbomachine expander offers efficient, safe strategy for heating, cooling

25.02.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

The seismicity of Mars

25.02.2020 | Earth Sciences

Cancer cachexia: Extracellular ligand helps to prevent muscle loss

25.02.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>