Navigation Links
Scientists discover final piece in phytate jigsaw
Date:4/26/2010

A team of scientists in Spain and the UK have identified the final piece in the jigsaw of how phytate is produced in plants.

Published today by PNAS, the breakthrough discovery by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) in Madrid and the University of East Anglia (UEA) has implications for agribusiness, the environment and human health.

Phytate is a naturally-occurring phosphate deposit which accumulates in the seeds, beans and tubers of many crops. The researchers have identified for the first time how the enzyme that produces phytate works, by solving the molecular structure of the protein IP5 2-kinase.

Because many animals are unable to digest the phytate present in their feed, the phytate phosphorus is transferred to the soil as manure, leading to the harmful pollution of waterways.

As a result, the animal feedstuffs industry currently adds a special enzyme called phytase to the feedstuff which allows animals to absorb the phosphorus complexed within phytate. This is a costly process, and so the industry needs to identify low-phytate varieties of crops such as maize, rice, wheat, barley and soya bean. This new discovery completes our understanding of how phytate is made by plants.

Not only does phytate contribute to pollution, the phytate in crops is also an 'anti-nutrient' that can have a detrimental effect on human health.

In the developing world, where diets are often grain- or bean-based with little or no meat, phytate has been identified by the World Health Organisation as one of the main causes of iron deficiency anaemia a major disease affecting millions of people.

"This is a hugely exciting discovery as scientists have been searching for this final piece in this jigsaw for so long, and because phytate has such a wide-ranging impact in agriculture, the environment and human health," said co-author Dr Charles Brearley, of UEA's School of Biological Sciences, who collaborated in this work with Dr Beatriz Gonzlez of CSIC's Intituto de Quimica-Fisica "Rocasolano".

Victor Raboy, a crop geneticist at the US Department of Agriculture, commented: "Understanding this unique aspect of inositol phosphate chemistry has broad significance not only for plant biology and agriculture but also for non-plant eukaryotic cellular metabolism and signal transduction.

"For example, it will also enhance our understanding of how yeast, slime molds and fruit flies function, and potentially could have future importance in understanding human disease and in designing therapies."


'/>"/>

Contact: Simon Dunford
s.dunford@uea.ac.uk
44-160-359-2203
University of East Anglia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists favor needles over tablets for global vaccinations
2. Phosphorous in sodas and processed foods accelerates signs of aging say Harvard scientists
3. Scientists crack code of critical bacterial defense mechanism
4. Scientists discover key step for regulating embryonic development
5. Scientists sever molecular signals that prolific parasite uses to puppeteer cells
6. Scientists create artificial human skin with biomechanical properties using tissue engineering
7. Brown scientists elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
8. Scripps Research scientists reveal how genetic mutations may cause type 1 diabetes
9. 2 Hopkins scientists awarded European honorary doctorates
10. Chinese scientists discover marker indicating the developmental potential of stem cells
11. Scientists find new genes for cancer, other diseases in plants, yeast and worms
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed ... focused on medical screening and diagnostic applications, ... Wearable devices that facilitate and assure continuous ... movement are being bolstered through new opportunities ... signal acquisition coupled with wireless connectivity and ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate ... an analysis of the digital and computed radiography markets ... , and Indonesia (TIM). ... and market size, as well as regional market drivers ... and discusses market penetration and market attractiveness, both for ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... Rising sales of consumer electronics ... intuitive gesture control market size ... consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements to drive ... through 2020   --> ... advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Information Management Services ( ... The upgrade represents a completely new technical foundation and is so significant it ... responsive design interface, significantly increased speed for search results, a streamlined layout and a ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... -- Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced today that its new website has gone live. On Thursday, ... mobile-friendly. Visit the new site: www.diplomat.is ... ... ... "The goal was to reimagine the website and create ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016  In the pharmaceutical industry ... a host of launch activities including the identification and ... launch activity is especially high in the oncology therapeutic ... Best Practices and the Role of Medical Affairs in ... focused on oncology therapies find better ways to utilize ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... - New FDA action date of July ... action date of July 22, 2016   --> ... 22, 2016   - Lifitegrast has the ... for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease ... to be the only product approved in the U.S. in the past decade indicated for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: