Navigation Links
Could chloroplast breakthrough unlock key to controlling fruit ripening in crops?
Date:11/1/2012

Biologists may have unearthed the potential to manipulate the functions of chloroplasts, the parts of plant cells responsible for photosynthesis.

Researchers in the University of Leicester's Department of Biology discovered that chloroplasts are affected by the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) a process which causes the breakdown of unwanted proteins in cells, previously thought to only act on central parts of the cell.

As a result, the researchers believe they may be able to use specific proteins to regulate the functions of chloroplasts such as the conversion of chloroplasts into highly-pigmented chromoplasts during the ripening of fruit.

Their paper, Chloroplast Biogenesis is Regulated by Direct Action of the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System, is due to be published in the journal Science on Friday, November 2.

The paper identifies a gene (SP1) in the nuclei of plant cells that codes for a protein called a ubiquitin E3 ligase which is able to regulate chloroplast development through the UPS process.

The team are already investigating the potential for harnessing the SP1 gene in crop plants, for example to affect the ripening of fruits such as tomatoes, bell peppers and citrus.

The University's Enterprise & Business Development Office has filed a patent application with a view to developing practical applications for the research.

Professor Paul Jarvis, of the University's Department of Biology, has led the project since its inception in 2000.

He said: "Our work shows that the UPS also acts on subcellular compartments in plant cells called chloroplasts, which are responsible for the light-driven reactions of photosynthesis that power almost all life on Earth.

"Identification of this previously-unsuspected link between the UPS and chloroplasts constitutes a major breakthrough in biology, and may enable the manipulation of chloroplast functions in crops.

"It is incredible to get to this point it has been a long journey. We have known for some time that this was going to be a big breakthrough."

The research has been funded by grants from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Professor Douglas Kell, Chief Executive of BBSRC, said: "To ensure that we have enough healthy, sustainable food for a growing population, we need to find a range of novel solutions to challenges such as improving crop yields and reducing food waste. This research highlights one of the many ways in which science can help.

"The ripening process can happen quickly, and it can take just a few days for a fruit or vegetable to be considered inedible. This unavoidable process means big losses to both farmers and consumers. This discovery brings us one step closer to greater control over ripening so that we have greater flexibility for farmers when supplying produces in the best condition."


'/>"/>

Contact: Professor Paul Jarvis
rpj3@leicester.ac.uk
44-011-622-31296
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Heart-powered pacemaker could one day eliminate battery-replacement surgery
2. New test could help track down and prosecute terrorists
3. New antibiotic could make food safer and cows healthier
4. BPA could affect reproductive capabilities, cause infection of the uterus
5. Key to immune system disease could lie inside the cheek
6. New analysis of premature infants heartbeats, breathing could be cues for leaving NICU
7. Tiny electrical sensors could signal faster MRSA diagnosis
8. Corals could survive a more acidic ocean
9. Early warning system for seizures could cut false alarms
10. Rapid method of assembling new gene-editing tool could revolutionize genetic research
11. 800-year-old farmers could teach us how to protect the Amazon
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Could chloroplast breakthrough unlock key to controlling fruit ripening in crops?
(Date:4/19/2016)... The new GEZE SecuLogic access ... "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It can ... door interface with integration authorization management system, and thus ... minimal dimensions of the access control and the optimum ... offer considerable freedom of design with regard to the ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... 2016 BioCatch ™, the ... announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of ... deployment of its platform at several of the world,s ... discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , March 31, 2016  Genomics ... leadership of founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., ... addition, members of the original technical leadership team, including ... Vice President of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice ... have returned to the company. Dr. Bready ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the leading software ... Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and ... clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , ... industrial engineering, was today awarded as one of ... of the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks ... for the real world in the nutrition, health ... work directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in ... peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on ... biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... TORONTO , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon ... the development and commercialization of a portfolio of ... cancers. Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an ... contribute significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: