Tag Archives: arabidopsis

Signal zur Einleitung der Schädlingsabwehr ist in Pflanzen doppelt gesichert

Tübinger Forschergruppe entdeckt ein bei Pflanzen bisher unbekanntes Signalmolekül und klärt seine Funktion bei der Immunantwort auf

Wird eine Pflanze von Fressfeinden wie zum Beispiel Schmetterlingsraupen angegriffen oder von Pilzen, die ihr absterbendes Gewebe verdauen, so schaltet sich ihre Immunabwehr ein. Die Pflanze bildet nach der Verwundung eine aktive Form des Hormons Jasmonsäure, die für die Freisetzung von Hemm- und Abwehrstoffen sorgt. Diese sollen die Schädlinge vom Fressen abhalten oder ihre Entwicklung negativ beeinflussen. Nun hat eine internationale Forschergruppe um Dr. Gabriel Schaaf vom Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der Pflanzen (ZMBP) der Universität Tübingen herausgefunden, dass aktive Jasmonsäure allein nicht tätig werden kann. Sie benötigt bei der Schädlingsabwehr eine Substanz aus der Gruppe der Inositolpyrophosphate als Partner. Die Forscher haben den molekularen Mechanismus des Zusammenwirkens der Signalstoffe aufgeklärt. Ihre Ergebnisse wurden kürzlich vom Fachjournal Plant Cell vorab online veröffentlicht.

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Making Do with More: Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Engineer Plant Cell Walls to Boost Sugar Yields for Biofuels

When blessed with a resource in overwhelming abundance it’s generally a good idea to make valuable use of that resource. Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant organic material on Earth. For thousands of years it has been used as animal feed, and for the past two centuries has been a staple of the paper industry. This abundant resource, however, could also supply the sugars needed to produce advanced biofuels that can supplement or replace fossil fuels, providing several key technical challenges are met. One of these challenges is finding ways to more cost-effectively extract those sugars. Major steps towards achieving this breakthrough are being taken by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI).

“Through the tools of synthetic biology, we have engineered healthy plants whose lignocellulosic biomass can more easily be broken down into simple sugars for biofuels,” says Dominique Loque, who directs the cell wall engineering program for JBEI’s Feedstocks Division. “Working with the model plant, Arabidopsis, as a demonstration tool, we have genetically manipulated secondary cell walls to reduce the production of lignin while increasing the yield of fuel sugars.” (more…)

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It’s in the Genes: Research Pinpoints How Plants Know When to Flower

Scientists believe they’ve pinpointed the last crucial piece of the 80-year-old puzzle of how plants “know” when to flower.

Determining the proper time to flower, important if a plant is to reproduce successfully, involves a sequence of molecular events, a plant’s circadian clock and sunlight.

Understanding how flowering works in the simple plant used in this study – Arabidopsis – should lead to a better understanding of how the same genes work in more complex plants grown as crops such as rice, wheat and barley, according to Takato Imaizumi, a University of Washington assistant professor of biology and corresponding author of a paper in the May 25 issue of the journal Science. (more…)

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Plant Scientists Find Mechanism That Gives Plants ‘Balance’

EAST LANSING, Mich. — When a plant goes into defense mode in order to protect itself against harsh weather or disease, that’s good for the plant, but bad for the farmer growing the plant. Bad because when a plant acts to defend itself, it turns off its growth mechanism.

But now researchers at Michigan State University, as part of an international collaboration, have figured out how plants can make the “decision” between growth and defense, a finding that could help them strike a balance – keep safe from harm while continuing to grow. (more…)

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Seed Size is Controlled by Maternally Produced Small Rnas, Scientists Find

AUSTIN, Texas — Seed size is controlled by small RNA molecules inherited from a plant’s mother, a discovery from scientists at The University of Texas at Austin that has implications for agriculture and understanding plant evolution.

“Crop seeds provide nearly 70 to 80 percent of calories and 60 to 70 percent of all proteins consumed by the human population,” said Z. Jeff Chen, the D.J. Sibley Centennial Professor in Plant Molecular Genetics at The University of Texas at Austin. “Seed production is obviously very important for agriculture and plant evolution.” (more…)

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Moonlighting Enzyme Works Double Shift 24/7

EAST LANSING, Mich. — A team of researchers led by Michigan State University has discovered an overachieving plant enzyme that works both the day and night shifts.

The discovery, featured in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, shows that plants evolved a new function for this enzyme by changing merely one of its protein building blocks. (more…)

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Largest-Ever Map of Interactions of Plant Proteins Produced

*New map of protein interactions in model plant may help scientists improve plant species used in agriculture and pharmaceuticals*

An international consortium of scientists has produced the first systematic network map of interactions that occur between proteins in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. (Arabidopsis is a mustard plant that has 27,000 proteins and serves as a popular model organism for biological studies of plants, analogous to lab rats that serve as popular model organisms for biological studies of animals.)

Known as an “interactome,” the new Arabidopsis network map defines 6,205 protein-to-protein Arabidopsis interactions involving 2,774 individual proteins. By itself, this map doubles the volume of data on protein interactions in plants that is currently available. (more…)

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What “Pine” Cones Reveal About the Evolution of Flowers

*Research genetically traces flowers to a single common ancestor*

From southern Africa’s pineapple lily to Western Australia’s swamp bottlebrush, flowering plants are everywhere.  Also called angiosperms, they make up 90 percent of all land-based, plant life.

New research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides new insights into their genetic origin, an evolutionary innovation that quickly gave rise to many diverse flowering plants more than 130 million years ago. Moreover, a flower with genetic programming similar to a water lily may have started it all. (more…)

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