Navigation Links
A plant which acclimatizes with no exterior influence

Plants have a love-hate relationship with sunlight. While some wavelengths are indispensable to them for performing photosynthesis, others, such as UV-B, are deleterious. Therefore, plants are equipped to detect these highly toxic rays and mount their defences. A team led by Roman Ulm, Professor at the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has generated a transgenic plant which acclimatises constitutively, regardless of the level of UV-B. This plant possesses a constantly active receptor, which endows it with a higher UV resistance, associated with increased flavonoid production, substances which function as a 'sunscreen' and as antioxidants. Flavonoid-rich plants also provide a powerful source of antioxidants for humans. As described in the journal PNAS, this transgenic plant is an excellent model system within the framework of basic research, as well as studies aiming at improving crop plants.

Plants have an arsenal of receptors that enable them to benefit from all components of solar radiation. While the energy of some photons is captured by chlorophyll to produce sugar, other wavelengths regulate essential processes, such as flowering, seed germination, shade avoidance and phototropism. 'Even ultraviolet B rays, despite their harmfulness, are used by plants as an environmental stimulus and influence plant growth and development', points out Roman Ulm, Professor at the UNIGE Department of Botany and Plant Biology.

A maximal survival response

Ultraviolet B rays (UV-B), which account for 0.5% of light energy, are dangerous for living organisms as they lead to the formation of free radicals in cells and damage their DNA. Unable to escape them, plants are forced to find a way to protect themselves. They detect UV-B rays thanks to a receptor knows as UVR8, thus triggering a biochemical chain reaction within the cells and allowing them to mount their defences. These are notably made up of flavonoids, which act as sunscreens and antioxidants, but also of enzymes which repair the damage caused to the DNA during light exposure.

In collaboration with his colleagues from the Universities of Ghent (Belgium) and Freiburg (Germany), Roman Ulm's team has generated a transgenic plant equipped with an UVR8 mutated receptor. 'The substitution of just one amino acid by another was enough for the receptor to remain constantly active, even without UV', describes Marc Heijde, postdoctoral fellow and one of the article's main authors. The fact that this receptor is always switched on results in a constant stimulation of the genes necessary for the development of survival responses'.

A complete UV shield

The transgenic plant acclimatises constitutively and does not suffer from over-exposure to UVB. This is also due to a high production of flavonoids, including anthocyanins, molecules with powerful antioxidant properties for both plants and humans. 'This plant is a variant of Arabidopsis thaliana, a model organism widely used in the laboratory. It allows us to explore in detail the intracellular processes involved in acclimatisation and makes for an excellent study model as part of the research aimed at improving crop plants', states Roman Ulm.


Contact: Roman Ulm
Universit de Genve

Related biology news :

1. The future of plant science - a technology perspective
2. The future of plant science a technology perspective
3. Bone marrow transplant arrests symptoms in model of Rett syndrome
4. American Society of Plant Biologists honors early career women scientists
5. Not just for the birds: Man-made noise has ripple effects on plants, too
6. Plant DNA speaks English, identifies new species
7. Human noise has ripple effects on plants
8. New databases harvest a rich bounty of information on crop plant metabolism
9. Plant research reveals new role for gene silencing protein
10. Plants mimic scent of pollinating beetles
11. Stomata development in plants unraveled -- a valuable discovery for environmental research
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/20/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after ... secured the final acceptance by all three (3) ... Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts ... by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016 ... Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety ... France during the major tournament Teleste, ... communications systems and services, announced today that its video security ... to back up public safety across the country. ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... YORK , June 2, 2016   The Weather ... is announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers ... by being able to ask questions via voice or text ... Marketers have long sought ... the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use ... 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Plate® YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval ... of microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the ... future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: