Navigation Links
Michigan State University study sheds light on microscopic flower petal ridges
Date:12/22/2009

EAST LANSING, Mich. Microscopic ridges contouring the surface of flower petals might play a role in flashing that come-hither look pollinating insects can't resist. Michigan State University scientists and colleagues now have figured out how those form.

The result could help researchers learn to enhance plants' pollination success and even could lead to high-grip nanomaterials and "green chemical" feedstocks.

"Surprisingly, our work on plant surface biochemistry became a birds and bees and flowers story," said John Ohlrogge, MSU University Distinguished Professor of plant biology. "It's a fundamental property of plant flowers, and we've discovered a basis of how these ridges are made."

Known for 75 years, the exact biological function and nature of the flower nanoridges still eludes scientists. They might help pollinating insects grip petals, and retain glistening water droplets that could attract the visitors. Because the ridges' spacing is approximately that of visible and ultraviolet light wavelengths, moreover, some recent research suggests they produce an iridescent shimmer that attracts pollinators.

To start, visiting professor Mike Pollard and former Ohlrogge post-doctoral research associates Fred Beisson and Yonghua Li tapped new genetic information to find a mutated strain of the standard research plant Arabidopsis thaliana -- mustard weed. The petals have no such nanoridges because the mutation inhibits production of a polymer that forms the plant cuticle, which separates cell walls from plants' waxy surfaces.

Examining the mutant plants' flowers and comparing them to normal mustard plants under scanning electron microscopes, the researchers found that the ridges form from cutin polyester, not from underlying surfaces as some have speculated. How that occurs -- from surface folding or uneven synthesis of cutin polymer across the cell wall, for example, has yet to be learned.

But the research will open doors to further research based on cuticular nanostructures, the researchers noted in latest recent edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"That could include production of polyesters or related basic chemicals by genetically manipulating plants or microbes" said Beisson, now at Aix Marseille Universit in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mark Fellows
mark.fellows@ur.msu.edu
517-884-0166
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. EPA reviews Univ. of Michigan dioxin study
2. Michigan Tech scientists identify genes linked to Lou Gehrigs disease
3. Climate change driving Michigan mammals north
4. University of Michigan installs second Genomatix Genome Analyzer
5. Lake Michigan fish populations threatened by decline of tiny creature
6. Michigan Tech researchers link 11 genetic variations to type 2 diabetes
7. Newly discovered mechanism allows cells to change state
8. The impact of the diffusion of maize to the Southwestern United States
9. First comprehensive review of the state of Antarcticas climate
10. Kent State University professors focus research on the environment with grants totaling $890,000
11. Iowa State researcher produces, ships only H1N1 vaccine available for swine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Michigan State University study sheds light on microscopic flower petal ridges
(Date:6/23/2017)... and ITHACA, N.Y. , June ... Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, today announced ... designed to help reduce the chances that the global ... onset of this dairy project, Cornell University has become ... Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food safety initiative ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... 2017 RAM Group , Singaporean ... breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based ... by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor will ... chains and security. Ram Group is a next ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its ... Summits will run alongside the expo portion of the ... panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D ... design and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... announces publication of a United States multicenter, prospective clinical study that demonstrates ... point-of-care diagnostic test capable of identifying clinically significant acute bacterial and viral ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The ... context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The ... transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. 11, 2017  SkylineDx ... London (ICR) and University of Leeds ... to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma (MM), in a multi-centric ... The University of Leeds is the ... UK, and ICR will perform the testing services to include ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that ... Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los ...
Breaking Biology Technology: