Navigation Links
Researchers from the Viikki Biocenter discover how plants control the formation of wood cells
Date:5/31/2011

An international research group headed by Professor and Research Director Yrj Helariutta has discovered the genetic process that controls the development of wood cells in the roots of plants. Wood is the vascular tissue that transports water and nutrients upward from the root, also contributing to the formation of the woody element in the stem. The work, published in the online version of the prestigious Current Biology journal, presents a potential method for engineering plants to produce more wood.

All multicellular organisms start life as a single cell. This cell begins to divide, and the new cells need to take on new identities. Understanding the genetic messages that control these processes helps researchers to direct the development of plants. Plant cells can be engineered to produce more or less of a certain cell or tissue, for example. More durable and faster-growing plants are particularly important in this era of climate change and energy considerations. The goal is to direct the development of plants for the good of mankind.

The research carried out by Professor Helariutta's team will help to direct future crop and forestry improvements. According to researcher Anthony Bishopp, the results enhance our understanding of how plants develop.

"The formation of water-transporting tissues has been paramount to plants' colonisation of the land. We are now presenting a mechanism through which the identity of water-conducting wood cells can be assigned," says Bishopp.

The results show that the interaction between two hormones controls the extent to which wood forms in the root. In addition to altering the movement of these hormones, the researchers altered the plants' ability to perceive them. This resulted in plants with deficient or excessive wood tissue. Wood cells are rich in cellulose, which can be harnessed to produce biofuels. The forestry industry could also benefit from trees with wood properties that have been modified to meet the needs of process technology.

The research was carried out using a small weed, the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The group has plans to apply the results to commercially relevant species, such as forest trees and rice.

In addition to the formation of wood tissue, the research sheds light on the development of plants in general. The development processes fascinate Bishopp:

"A fertilised egg cell contains all of the genetic information that the whole organism needs. As this organism grows, subsequent cells take on new identities and new structures appear. From a developmental biologist's perspective, it doesn't matter if this organism is a person or a plant."

The research was carried out as part of a European Research Network aimed at bringing together research institutions to stimulate economic growth, competitiveness and sustainability. The network initially included partners from Finland, Belgium and the United Kingdom but was expanded to include the Netherlands and Japan. This concerted research effort was led by Professor Helariutta (Finland). Anthony Bishopp (UK) and Hanna Help (Finland) carried out most of the work.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anthony Bishopp
anthony.bishopp@helsinki.fi
358-919-159-425
University of Helsinki
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers solve mammoth evolutionary puzzle: The woollies werent picky, happy to interbreed
2. What is a laboratory mouse? Jackson, UNC researchers reveal the details
3. MDC researchers discover key molecule for stem cell pluripotency
4. Researchers track the secret lives of feral and free-roaming house cats
5. UTHealth researchers find diabetics at higher risk of tuberculosis infection
6. UT Southwestern researchers find protein breakdown contributes to pelvic organ prolapse
7. UofL researchers replicate human kidney gene changes in mouse model
8. Researchers create nanopatch for the heart
9. NYU researchers outline method for DNA computation in new book
10. Seaports need a plan for weathering climate change, Stanford researchers say
11. U of T researchers find link between childhood physical abuse, chronic fatigue syndrome
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast in this ... technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, ... end use industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and ... and others), and by region ( North America ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest of the ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... Science Center’s FirstHand program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of ... award for Excellence in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced the ... NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be ... small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells using NGS ... the need to accelerate development of approaches to analyze ... "New techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today ... which its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb ... The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted ... saved as compared to standard bone marrow stem ... resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... a four-tiered line of medical marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers who ... packaging of Kindred takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two ...
Breaking Biology Technology: