When we cut our fingers, blood rushes out of the wound to close it. However, the vegetable, we just wanted to slice and dice, would have reacted utterly different to this injury. Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) investigated how plant cells heal wounds. In their results, published in PNAS on June 15, the researchers discovered that the hormone Auxin and pressure changes are crucial to regeneration.
All living organisms suffer injuries. Animals and humans have movable cells, specialized in finding, approaching, and healing wounds. Plant cells, however, are immobile and can't encapsulate the damage.
Instead, adjacent cells multiply or grow to fill the injury. In this precision process, each unique cell decides whether it will stretch or divide to fill the wound. Even though scientists study regeneration in plants since the mid-19th century, the cell's 'reasons' for either choice remained unclear.
Now, scientists in the group of Professor Jiří Friml from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) discovered that the hormone Auxin and pressure guide the plant's way of regenerating.
"It is incredibly fascinating how robust and flexible plant regeneration is, considering how static those organisms are," says Lukas Hoermayer, a leading scientist in this study.
To investigate wound healing, the scientists injured a thale cress root with a laser. They then tracked cells during regeneration with a microscope.
The scientists found that the hormone Auxin, which is essential in plant growth and development, also plays a vital role in wound healing. It builds up in those cells directly touching the wound and facilitates the plant's response to injury.
When the scientists artificially changed the Auxin amounts, either no cells or too many cells responded to the wound. This uncoordinated process, sometimes even led to tumorous swelling of the root.
"Only the precise coordination of many cells throughout the whole tissue yields a defined and localized wound response," explains Lukas Hoermayer.
Furthermore, the team recorded a pressure change within the plant, caused by the collapsing cells of the wound. When the scientists reduced the cellular pressure before cutting the plant, the pressure difference vanished, and the regeneration was weakened.
By observing plant regeneration and modifying it with chemical treatments, the scientists identified Auxin concentration and pressure changes as governing processes.
Their results advance the understanding of how roots manage to heal wounds and hence survive in sandy soil or the presence of root-attacking herbivores.
Lukas Hoermayer, Juan Carlos Montesinos, Petra Marhava, Eva Benková, Saiko Yoshida, Jiří Friml. Wounding induced changes in cellular pressure and localized Auxin signaling spatially coordinate restorative divisions in roots. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2003346117
Patrick Müller | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Study reveals how bacteria build essential carbon-fixing machinery
09.07.2020 | University of Liverpool
Stress testing 'coral in a box'
09.07.2020 | University of Konstanz
New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices
Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...
Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class
In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...
Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.
Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....
Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.
Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...
A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...
07.07.2020 | Event News
02.07.2020 | Event News
19.05.2020 | Event News
09.07.2020 | Physics and Astronomy
09.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
09.07.2020 | Physics and Astronomy