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:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to ... display is the latest premium product recently added to the range of products distributed ... ... ... Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a ... the overview results from the Q1 wave of its ... wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where they ... a health insurance company. "We were surprised ... says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, ... partnership that will provide end customers with a more ... payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) ... financial services, but it also plays a fundamental part in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announced the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, ... explore the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... BEACH, Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint ... new biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed ... co-founder Matthew Nunez . "We have ... us with the capital we need to meet our ... will essentially provide us the runway to complete validation ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Regulatory Compliance Associates® ... provides a free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: Getting to Root ... CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a major concern to ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 Cell ... will allow them to produce up to one ... one lot within one week. These high-quality, consistent ... laboriously preparing cells and spend more time doing ... through a proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process that produces ...
Breaking Biology Technology: