Navigation Links
Discovery of plant 'nourishing gene' brings hope for increased crop seed yield and food security
Date:1/13/2012

University of Warwick scientists have discovered a "nourishing gene" which controls the transfer of nutrients from plant to seed - a significant step which could help increase global food production.

The research, led by the University of Warwick in collaboration with the University of Oxford and agricultural biotech research company Biogemma, has identified for the first time a gene, named Meg1, which regulates the optimum amount of nutrients flowing from mother to offspring in maize plants.

Unlike the majority of genes that are expressed from both maternal and paternal chromosomes, Meg1 is expressed only from the maternal chromosomes.

This unusual form of uniparental gene expression, called imprinting, is not restricted to plants, but also occurs in some human genes which are known to regulate the development of the placenta to control the supply of maternal nutrients during fetal growth.

While scientists have known for a while of the existence of such imprinted genes in humans and other mammals, this is the first time a parallel gene to regulate nutrient provisioning during seed development has been identified in the plant world.

The findings mean that scientists can now focus on using the gene and understanding the mechanism by which it is expressed to increase seed size and productivity in major crop plants.

Dr Jose Gutierrez-Marcos, Associate Professor in the University of Warwick's School of Life Sciences, said: "These findings have significant implications for global agriculture and food security, as scientists now have the molecular know-how to manipulate this gene by traditional plant breeding or through other methods to improve seed traits, such as increased seed biomass yield.

"This understanding of how maize seeds and other cereal grains develop for example in rice and wheat - is vital as the global population relies on these staple products for sustenance".

"To meet the demands of the world's growing population in years to come, scientists and breeders must work together to safeguard and increase agricultural production."

Professor Hugh Dickinson of Oxford University's Department of Plant Sciences added: "While the identification of MEG1 is an important discovery in its own right, it also represents a real breakthrough in unravelling the complex gene pathways that regulate the provisioning and nutritional content of seeds."

The research, supported by the European Union, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Royal Society (BBSRC), is published in Current Biology under the title Maternal control of nutrient allocation in plant seeds by genomic imprinting.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna Blackaby
a.blackaby@warwick.ac.uk
44-247-657-5910
University of Warwick
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Discovery could help stem smoking-related diseases
2. Georgetown researchers lead discovery expected to significantly change biomedical research
3. New horned dinosaur announced nearly 100 years after discovery
4. Researchers awarded $3.2 million from NIH to pioneer advanced biomolecule discovery technology
5. UGA discovery changes how scientists think about plant cell wall formation
6. Discovery of therapeutic peptides affecting mitochondria
7. ORNL fundamental discovery casts enzymes in new light
8. Scripps research team achieves critical step to opening elusive class of compounds to drug discovery
9. Discovery of new gene could improve efficiency of molecular factories
10. Lung regeneration closer to reality with new discovery by Weill Cornell Medical College researchers
11. Discovery announced in Science represents new paradigm in the way drugs can be manufactured
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a ... Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to the company ... technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, John ... Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and Informatics, ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... Massachusetts , March 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... im Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung ... Xura, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ), ... bekannt, dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, ... aus der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... , PROVO and ... Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest sample ... molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in ... respectively, today announced the launch of a project to ... (NGS) testing panel. NSO has been ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... features a variety of fracture-specific plating options designed to address fractures of the ... fracture fixation solutions. , The Acumed Ankle Plating System 3 is composed of ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lady ... eight she tore her cruciate ligament in her left knee. Lady’s owner Hannah sought ... a central Florida board-certified veterinary surgeon, to repair her cruciate ligament and help with ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Media Cybernetics, global image analysis ... corporate branding reflects a results-driven revitalization for a company with a renewed focus ... include a crisp, refreshed logo and a new web presence. , “I believe ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 - Leading CRO,s ... - Frontage Implement a Single Platform to Manage End-to-end ... Traceability Within the Bioanalytical lab Frontage Laboratories, a full-service ... States and China , has selected ... facilities. In addition to serving as the global electronic lab notebook ...
Breaking Biology Technology: