Navigation Links
Tracking sugar movement in plants
Date:4/8/2014

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by scientists at the University of Queensland, Australia, overturns a long-held theory in plant science [see:http://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=11631]. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory who are co-authors on this paper conducted critical radiotracer studies that support the new theory that plant sugars play a dominant role in regulating branching at plant stems. While branching has relevance in agriculture, it is also very important in bioenergy crop production.

Brookhaven plant biologist Benjamin Babst and Brittany Wienclaw, who was a summer intern as part of the DOE Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship program at Brookhaven while working on her degree at the University of New Haven, conducted an essential experiment to verify that sugars play a key role in apical dominance and the regulation of plant bud growth. The aim of their part of this study was to test if sugars produced in leaves via photosynthesis move downward through plants in greater quantities when shoot tips are removed, and quickly enough to trigger bud growth farther down.

To trace the sugars, the scientists first had to add a radioactive "tag" to these molecules. The tag they used was a positron-emitting isotope of carbon, carbon-11, incorporated into carbon dioxide. When they administered this labeled CO2 to plant leaves, the plants incorporated the radioactive carbon into sugars via photosynthesis. The scientists then tracked the labeled sugars throughout the plant using detectors placed along the plant stem.

The time taken for the 11C-labeled sugars to move between two detectors on upper and lower regions of the stem was used to calculate sugar transport speeds. The scientists also monitored how much sugar accumulated at different positions, including where previously dormant buds began to sprout in response to clipping the plants' apical shoots.

"We found that upon decapitation of the plant, there is a rapid increase in sugar delivery to the buds, which promotes bud outgrowth," Babst said. The sugars move about 100 times faster than auxin, a plant hormone previously believed to regulate bud growth. This finding supports the idea that sugarnot auxinis the key signaling molecule for this immediate response to clipping.

"Auxin plays a secondary role later in the process," Babst said.

The Brookhaven experiment further supports the idea that the demand for sugar in intact, actively growing apical shoots limits the availability of this nutrient to the rest of the plant, thus normally keeping lower branch bud growth in check.

"Only a few labs in the world have the capability, using the carbon-11 radioisotope, to do the type of experiment that we did to see rapid changes in carbon allocation immediately following a treatment, such as shoot tip removal," Babst said.

"Ben's work was critical for this study," said Christine Beveridge of the University of Queensland, Australia, who was the lead author on the paper. "His finding that sugars move at 150 cm per hour along the stem is amazing. The technique available in his lab is truly first class and an invaluable resource for plant scientists worldwide."

Relevance to Bioenergy

Brookhaven's role in this research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, which has an ongoing interest in furthering understanding of plant functions that have relevance to generating bioenergy.

For example, said Babst, "Branching has a big impact on the display of a plant's leaves to capture sunlight, like arrays of solar panels. Branching can also enhance or hurt the performance of plants growing amongst competitors. And the amount of branching also influences how much biomass a plant hasof particular interest because stems represent the bulk of the biomass that we can harvest for biofuels."

Understanding the factors that influence branching in the pea plants used in this study may offer valuable insights to help optimize the growth of bioenergy grasses such as switchgrass and sorghumwhere, because the buds and shoot tips are inaccessible without damaging the plant and changing function, it would be impossible to tease out these details.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Tracking neighborhood eating habits to promote healthier diets
2. Tracking catalytic reactions in microreactors
3. Nitrogen-tracking tools for better crops and less pollution
4. Tracking Asian air pollution aids policymakers
5. 9 and 60 ways of particle tracking
6. Gold nanoparticles help to develop a new method for tracking viruses
7. Tracking the deep sea paths of tiger sharks
8. Patch outperforms Holter for prolonged heart rhythm tracking
9. Tracking young salmons first moves in the ocean
10. A Turnkey Solution Measures Cognitive Workload with SMI Eye Tracking
11. From obscurity to dominance: Tracking the rapid evolutionary rise of ray-finned fish
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Tracking sugar movement in plants
(Date:2/21/2017)... , February 21, 2017 Der ... US-Dollar wachsen. Nach einem Gespräch mit mehr als 50 Vertretern ... Hindernisse zu überwinden gilt, um diese Prognose zu realisieren. ... ... die Mobilisierung der finanziellen Mittel für die Biobank, die ...
(Date:2/10/2017)... 10, 2017 Research and Markets ... "Personalized Medicine - Scientific and Commercial Aspects" to their ... ... is integrated with therapy for selection of treatment as well ... and prevention of disease in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies and ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... The biometrics market has reached a ... organizations, desires to better authenticate or identify users ... challenge questions), biometrics is quickly working its way ... is driven by use cases, though there traditionally ... uses cases, with consumer-facing use cases encompassing authentication, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... -- Financial Highlights ... unaudited)Three Months Ended December 31,Twelve Months Ended December 31,20162015% ... $           300$   ... Product Revenue 3539(10)%9498(4)%Kuvan Net Product ... 756025%297303(2)%Vimizim Net Product Revenue ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017  MIODx announced today that it has ... technologies from the University of California, San Francisco ... monitor a patient for response to immune checkpoint ... second license extends the technology with a method ... have an immune-related adverse event (IRAE) from their ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017  Imanis Life Sciences announced today the ... vaccinia viruses for virotherapy research. These viruses are ... proprietary, vaccinia virus-based technology platform for research use. ... a partnership with Genelux to offer researchers, for ... use in research," said Dr. Kah Whye ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... David Nolte, PhD accepted Purdue University’s 2016 ... Research Park of West Lafayette, Indiana. , The top commercialization award is ... success with, commercializing discoveries from Purdue research. “This award is truly an honor. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: