Navigation Links
New cell component important to tea and wine-making
Date:9/11/2013

Scientists have discovered where plants build tannins, complex chemicals used by plants for defence and protection. The source is the tannosome, a newly discovered organelle that is found in most land plants.

All living things are made from cells; whether they are single-celled organisms like amoeba, or enormous entities like Giant Redwoods (in which millions of cells make up the body of the organism). Although cells may become specialised for particular roles in an organism, they each undertake many different tasks. Internally each cell is furnished with a range of smaller bodies termed organelles that perform those various essential functions; e.g. chloroplasts in plant cells which are involved in photosynthesis, mitochondria in both animal and plant cells engaged in respiration, and ribosomes that are essential for protein synthesis. Each organelle also produces a range of chemicals for the cell. The scientists were examining the organelles in the cell, and almost overlooked some of them.

Genevive Conjro said: "When we purified for the first time the tannosomes (unknown objects at this time), we thought we had obtained chloroplasts and rejected them as rubbish artifacts. After several trials, we considered that chloroplasts were not the only green objects in plants."

The international team, headquartered at INRA in Montpellier, used a number of techniques to examine the cells in action. In some cases they fixed cells into place, in others they introduced dyes and in more samples they examined spectra, light signatures of chemicals. What they found was that these strange organelles were producing tannins. Until now, no one has known exactly where in the cell tannins have been made. People could see them stored in the vacuole, another organelle in the plant cell, but couldn't work out how they got there.

Genevive Conjro said: "Tannins, also called condensed tannins or proanthocyanidins, are thought to play diverse roles such as defense against herbivores and pathogens or ultraviolet protection. They give feeling of pungency in the mouth, the feel of a cat's tongue licking your hand. Common sense associates tannins with immature unripe fruit, and people ironically say 'this fruit is too green'. More seriously, plant tannins have been used since the Neolithic times to prevent spoilage of animal skins, and therefore first to manufacture leather laces and soles protecting feet of rough ground."

The result was unexpected and was checked and rechecked. Conjro added: "To come to that conclusion and propose a somewhat revolutionary model, we needed a multidisciplinary approach associating several microscopy and biochemistry techniques. The most intriguing finding from this study is the very close proximity of the tannin polymerization system and the photosynthesis supercomplexes."

Aside from their protective roles in plants, tannins are also important in making tea and red wine taste the way they do. It isn't every day that a new organelle is identified, but this goes to show that something as commonplace and seemingly familiar as the cell still has secrets to be discovered. Something to think about the next time you have a cuppa or glass of merlot?


'/>"/>

Contact: Press Office
ANNALSBOTANY@le.ac.uk
44-011-625-23396
Oxford University Press
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Intersil Expands Precision Analog IC Offerings with Micross Components
2. UGA study reveals flu-fighting role for well-known immune component
3. Micross Components Recognized as Teledyne Electronic Manufacturing Services Manufacturer of the Year
4. Reciprocity an important component of prosocial behavior
5. Manufacturing crack-resistant lightweight components
6. Production of FRP components without release agents
7. Researchers identify new components of the epigenetic code for honey bee development
8. Dolphin hearing system component found in insects
9. Olive oil component alleviates intestinal ischemia and reperfusion
10. Stanford scientists help shed light on key component of Chinas pollution problem
11. Study finds strong genetic component to childhood obesity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2017)... 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event ... emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and ... alongside the expo portion of the event and feature ... focused on trending topics within 3D printing and smart ... event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... to their offering. ... eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during ... Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis ... and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, Card-Based ... & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / Energy ... Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality & ... for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access Control ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... CTNext , Connecticut’s go-to resource for entrepreneurial support, today ... at Chelsea Piers in Stamford. , Nine finalists, all of whom are Connecticut-based companies ... opportunity to secure $10,000 awards to help support business growth. The winners included:, ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... , ... June 15, 2017 , ... ... has secured a Series B round of financing in the amount of $6 ... of private investors participated in the round. , The Series B funding will ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... angelMD announced the closure ... Dan Parsley, angelMD’s SVP of Corporate Development, served as the syndicate leader for ... part of Saranas’ recently announced $4 million Series B financing round. , Saranas ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... Adam Equipment, a ... to assemble a lab workstation. The guide outlines the procedure in four simple ... Eclipse balance, AVT anti-vibration table, OIML/ASTM certified weights, and Adam DU specialized software. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: