Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Salivating aphids and dynamic proteins

13.07.2005


Aphids salivate at the thought of beans! In fact, if it weren’t for their saliva they would starve to death. Professor Aart van Bel (Justus-Liebig-Universität, Germany) will be speaking at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting in Barcelona, on Thursday 14th July [session P2.1] about how special dynamic proteins are involved in ‘plant rescue systems’ and how aphid’s saliva can overcome their defence mechanism.



Bean plants contain contractile protein bodies (forisomes) which change their shape in response to calcium (released during stress). In reaction to wounding, forisomes block the sieve plates (structures in the stems which regulate fluid transport) by changing their shape and acting as a ‘plug’. The dispersion of the forisome protein prevents fluids from leaking out of the plant (otherwise your plants would ‘bleed’ to death when you mow your lawn!).

Aphids overcome this blockage by injecting their saliva into the plant. The forisome’s shape sensitivity to concentrations of calcium is being investigated further as these proteins could potentially be applied in nanomotor systems and also in the provision of nutrients in microfluidity systems for medical research. Currently, attempts are being made to sequence the forisome proteins involved in this reversible dispersion/contraction by Dr. Michael Knoblauch’s group.


Vetch aphids feed off the sieve tubes and are a common infestation to plants, transferring harmful viruses. The reaction of the aphids to the change in fluid flow was investigated with the use of an electrical circuit. When plugging occurred at the sieve plates feeding aphids reacted by producing more saliva. The saliva must contain substances that cause contraction of the forisome protein back to its original state and thus restoring food supplies by clearing the sieve plates.

Diana van Gent | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sebiology.org/vcsearch.asp

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>