Navigation Links
Researchers find mechanism that gives plants 'balance'
Date:4/23/2012

When a plant goes into defense mode in order to protect itself against harsh weather or disease, that's good for the plant, but bad for the farmer growing the plant. Bad because when a plant acts to defend itself, it turns off its growth mechanism.

But now researchers at Michigan State University, as part of an international collaboration, have figured out how plants can make the "decision" between growth and defense, a finding that could help them strike a balance keep safe from harm while continuing to grow.

Writing in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sheng Yang He, an MSU professor of plant biology, and his team found that the two hormones that control growth (called gibberellins) and defense (known as jasmonates) literally come together in a crisis and figure out what to do.

"What we've discovered is that some key components of growth and defense programs physically interact with each other," he said. "Communication between the two is how plants coordinate the two different situations.

We now know where one of the elusive molecular links is between growth and defense."

This is important because now that scientists know that this happens, they can work to figure out how to "uncouple" the two, He added.

"Perhaps at some point we can genetically or chemically engineer the plants so they don't talk to each other that much," He said. "This way we may be able to increase yield and defense at the same time."

In this way, He said plants are a lot like humans. We only have a certain amount of energy to use, and we have to make wise choices on how to use it.

"Plants, like people, have to learn to prioritize," he said. "You can use your energy for growth, or use it for defense, but you can't do them both at maximum level at the same time."

The work was done on two different plants: rice, a narrow-leafed plant, and Arabidopsis, which has a broader leaf. This was significant because it demonstrated that this phenomenon occurs in a variety of plants.

He was one of the lead investigators on an international team of scientists that studied the issue. Other participating institutions included the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Hunan Agricultural University, the University of Arkansas, Duke University, Yale University and Penn State University.

Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute/Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Investigator. Earning the prestige honor last year, He is one of only 15 in the country.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tom Oswald
tom.oswald@ur.msu.edu
517-432-0920
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Climate change may create price volatility in the corn market, say Stanford and Purdue researchers
2. NCEAS researchers offer new ecological model for deep-water oil spills
3. Southampton researchers lead 2 international projects to help people out of poverty
4. Researchers across North America team up to find genetic markers for autism
5. UCSB researchers discover particularly dangerous Salmonella
6. Researchers discover non-surgical test for brain cancer
7. Researchers have identified a gene with a key role in neuronal survival
8. BUSM researchers identify genes that influence hippocampal volume
9. UCSB researchers find a way to detect stealthy, hypervirulent Salmonella strains
10. BUSM researchers identify key regulator of inflammatory response
11. Researchers call for a new direction in oil spill research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researchers find mechanism that gives plants 'balance'
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , ... the first quarter of 2015 The gross margin was ... 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings ... flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 is ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... 2016 The new GEZE SecuLogic ... web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It ... the door interface with integration authorization management system, and ... The minimal dimensions of the access control and the ... installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard to ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... BioCatch ™, the global ... the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as CEO. ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of significant ... of its platform at several of the world,s largest ... unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/22/2016)... ... June 22, 2016 , ... Quantitative ... business incubator and current participant in the Phase 1 Ventures program, is leveraging ... , Quantitative Radiology Solutions helps physicians make better treatment decisions by quantifying ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 21, 2016 , ... New light-based ... cutting into the tissue — promise to enable both compact, wearable devices for point-of-care ... even deeper under the skin. , Recent work and visionary future directions are detailed ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... that has developed a testing platform designed specifically ... the formation of their scientific advisory board (SAB). ... of directors, the SAB is chartered to advise ... infectious disease assay platform. Led by Dr. ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... June 22, 2016 On Tuesday, June ... 4,843.76, up 0.14%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.14% ... 2,088.90, up 0.27%. The gains were broad based as five ... has initiated coverage on the following equities: Minerva Neurosciences Inc. ... PTLA ), Trevena Inc. (NASDAQ: TRVN ), ...
Breaking Biology Technology: