Navigation Links
Plant clock gene also works in human cells
Date:12/1/2010

A gene that controls part of the 'tick tock' in a plant's circadian clock has been identified by UC Davis researchers. And not only is the plant gene very similar to one in humans, but the human gene can work in plant cells -- and vice versa. The research is published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"It's surprising to find a clock gene that is performing the same function across such widely unrelated groups," said Stacey Harmer, associate professor of plant biology in the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences and senior author on the paper.

Major groups of living things -- plants, animals and fungi -- all have circadian clocks that work in similar ways but are built from different pieces, Harmer said. The newly identified gene is an exception to that.

Harmer and UC Davis postdoctoral scholar Matthew Jones, with colleagues at Rice University in Houston and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, identified the "Jumonji-containing domain 5 gene," or JMJD5, from the lab plant Arabidopsis by screening existing databases for genes that were switched on along with the central plant clock gene, TOC1.

JMJD5 stood out. The protein made by the gene can carry out chemical modification of the histone proteins around which DNA is wrapped, and can likely regulate how genes are turned on and off -- potentially making it part of a clock oscillator.

When Harmer and colleagues made Arabidopsis plants with a deficient gene, they found that the plants' in-built circadian clock ran fast.

A similar gene is found in humans, and human cells with a deficiency in this gene also have a fast-running clock. When the researchers inserted the plant gene into the defective human cells, they could set the clock back to normal -- and the human gene could do the same trick in plant seedlings.

Because the rest of the clock genes are quite different between plants and humans, Harmer thinks that the fact that a very similar gene has the same function in both plants and humans is probably an example of convergent evolution, rather than something handed down from a distant common ancestor.

Convergent evolution is when two organisms arrive at the same solution to a problem but apparently from different starting points.

Maintaining accurate circadian rhythms is hugely important to living things, from maintaining sleep/wake cycles in animals to controlling when plants flower.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. MU plant genome research receives $3 million boost from National Science Foundation
2. How pathogens hijack host plants
3. Reading the signs: Plants and animals found common ground in response to microbial threats
4. In fending off diseases, plants and animals are much the same, research shows
5. The lifeblood of leaves: Vein networks control plant patterns
6. Nanotechnology: A dead end for plant cells?
7. Budding research links climate change and earlier flowering plants
8. Using plants against soils contaminated with arsenic
9. Change in temperature uncovers genetic cross talk in plant immunity
10. Biochemistry of how plants resist insect attack determined
11. New research changes understanding of C4 plant evolution
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2017)... -- Vigilant Solutions , a vehicle location and ... today the appointment of retired FBI special agent ... development. Mr. Sheridan brings more than 21 ... on the aviation transportation sector, to his new role ... served as the Aviation Liaison Agent Coordinator (ALAC) in ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... Australia , March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... at the prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop at the ... Fouras , was invited to deliver the latest data ... This globally recognised event brings together leaders at the ... latest developments in lung imaging. "The ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... March 2, 2017 Summary This report ... and its partnering interests and activities since 2010. ... Read the full ... Alliance since 2010 report provides an in-depth insight into the ... companies. On demand company reports are prepared upon ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the ... Markets" report to their offering. ... The study scope includes ... RNA interference, synthetic biology tools and genome editing tools); synthetic ... These technologies and products are analyzed to determine present and ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Mass spectrometry is becoming ... of this technology is driven by its potential to perform challenging analyses in complex ... some challenges that must be addressed for it to be routinely used for medical ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... LITTLETON, MA. (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 ... ... both long time members of the Modular Building Institute (MBI), an international modular ... Show in the permanent modular category for the Pagliuca Life Lab at Harvard ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today announced that Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, ... its newest member. David Cox , PhD, Vice ... ), will serve as his company,s representative on ... have Ipsen and Dr. Cox join NPC as members," ... their insights in helping us identify and address health ...
Breaking Biology Technology: