Navigation Links
Studying the importance of biological rhythms for the ecological performance of plants
Date:2/29/2012

This press release is available in German.

The central question of the 5-year project starting in April 2012 is whether these "arrhythmic" plants whose circadian clocks no longer work can survive in the wild. In other words, much like the night-shifted dysfunctional character in the movie Clockwork Orange whose behavioral abnormalities could be elicited by Beethoven's music, in Clockwork Green Baldwin and his team of researchers will use genetic and chemical tools to elicit arrhythmicity and study its consequences for a native plant in its native community.

Ecological Performance is all about timing

Whether an organism survives or dies in a particular habitat depends on whether it can do the right thing at the right time. In other words, timing is essential for survival. All organisms have a cellular clock and in many species from the different kingdoms of fungi, insects, plants, and even in humans, the mechanism of the molecular clock is becoming increasingly well understood. The circadian biological clock is thought to guarantee an optimal adaptation to prevailing environmental conditions but this has never been examined before in an organism growing under real world conditions.

Plants primary producers

Plants are the foundation of most terrestrial food chains. They use solar energy to produce sugars, starch, protein and fat, on which all heterotrophic life forms depend: fungi as well as rabbits consuming leaves. The circadian rhythms of plants are well studied: leaf movements, the opening and closing of stomata, and photosynthetic metabolism, are all processes regulated by an endogenous clock. Daily cycles can also be clearly seen in the patterns of gene expression. Interestingly, more than 30% of all plant genes (plant genomes typically harbor 25,000 genes) are under circadian regulation. However, the function and circadian regulation of most of these genes is still unknown. What role do they play for the plants' survival and reproduction and how crucial is the circadian control of their expression?

These are the central questions in the project "Clockwork Green". Transgenic tobacco plants will be used whose biological clocks no longer work, because one of the many "clock genes", such as NaTOC1, has been silenced. These plants will be released in their natural habitat, the Great Basin Desert in Utah, USA, where they will grow together with wild and unmodified tobacco plants. All stages of plant development from germination to seed formation in the flowers will be studied. In addition, different ecological parameters, such as the intensity of infestation by herbivores and microbial pathogens, will be defined and the behavior of pollinators will be observed. Simultaneously, genetic, metabolic and physiological measurements will be conducted in "rhythmic" and "arrhythmic" plants.

The results will offer valuable clues to which genes are regulated by the biological clock and which are required for optimal plant growth and development. It is possible that different genes take over vital functions depending on the stage of life (germination leaf development flower formation pollination seed filling). The "timing" of plant growth plays an important role in agriculture for example for synchronized seed germination or flowering in grains and oilseeds. Therefore the project may produce interesting results with applications in agriculture.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ian T. Baldwin
baldwin@ice.mpg.de
49-364-157-1101
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Studying bat skulls, evolutionary biologists discover how species evolve
2. WSU researchers demonstrate rare animal model for studying depression
3. Method of studying roots rarely used in wetlands improves ecosystem research
4. Finding is a feather in the cap for researchers studying birds big, powerful eyes
5. BC scientists link to European Consortium studying human genome
6. Compound useful for studying birth defects may also have anti-tumor properties
7. Consortium studying mathematical modeling of influenza infection
8. Studying the metabolome of smokers, Lombardi researchers find early signs of damage
9. Studying illnesses caused by worms: Scientists are learning how immune cells communicate
10. Carnegie Mellon receives funding to create new program studying environmental impact of nanotechnology
11. New retrieval method makes studying cancer proteins easier
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Studying the importance of biological rhythms for the ecological performance of plants
(Date:6/1/2016)... , June 1, 2016 ... in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost Global ... a recently released TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics ... Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the ... billion by 2021, on account of growing security concerns ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... YORK , May 16, 2016   EyeLock ... solutions, today announced the opening of an IoT Center ... to strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris ... an unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched ... authenticate one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... Lithuania , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, ... released the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System ... of large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process ... accuracy using any combination of fingerprint, face or ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ON (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS ... DNA Technical Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as ... the STACS DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today ... trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The ... ascending dose studies designed to assess the safety, ... injection in healthy adult volunteers. Forty ... a single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Andrew D Zelenetz ... Published recently in Oncology ... touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses the ... is placing an increasing burden on healthcare systems ... With the patents on many biologics expiring, interest ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the ... Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to ... a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: