Navigation Links
What genes help blossoms last longer?
Date:5/24/2010

This release is available in Spanish.

Some cut flowers and potted plants are better than others at fending off the aging process, known as senescence. To help tomorrow's blooms stay fresh longer, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant physiologist Cai-Zhong Jiang is investigating the gene-controlled mechanisms of plants' aging.

Such probing may eventually reveal how to modify flowers' aging-linked genes, or the proteins that are products of those genes.

Jiang is with the ARS Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit at Davis, Calif.

One approach, known as "virus-induced gene silencing" or VIGS, is allowing Jiang and colleagues to determine the function of genes in aging plants. In the laboratory, the scientists work with a naturally occurring microbe known as the tobacco rattle virus, modifying it by inserting plant genes of interest into it. In any given experiment, some flowering plants will not be exposed to the virus, while others will be exposed to either the unmodified or the modified virus.

Exposure triggers the plants' natural defense mechanism, including attempts to quash, or silence, the virus. When that happens, the genes that were inserted into the modified virus are also silenced. By comparing all of the plants, the researchers may be able to determine the newly-silenced genes' functions

In early, proof-of-concept experiments, Jiang and University of California-Davis professor Michael S. Reid used petunia as their model plant. They showed that inserting a piece of a color-imparting gene into the virus resulted in white sectors or splotches on a normally purple-flowering petunia. The plant's defense system had silenced the gene's normal function, which was to create color, according to Jiang.

A second gene fragment that the team also inserted into the virus was similarly silenced in the oddly white splotches. That silenced gene would normally have been involved in producing ethylene, an aging compound. But the white splotches on the plants exposed to the modified virus produced less ethylene than unexposed plants, or plants exposed to the unmodified virus.

Though VIGS has been used elsewhere to study the functions of genes in tomato and tobacco, the experiments by Reid and Jiang were the first to use VIGS to explore senescence mechanisms in commercially grown cut flowers and potted plants.


'/>"/>

Contact: Marcia Wood
Marcia.Wood@ars.usda.gov
301-504-1662
United States Department of Agriculture-Research, Education, and Economics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Gene regulation, not just genes, is what sets humans apart
2. Interaction of just 2 genes governs coloration patterns in mice
3. Muscle mass: Scientists identify novel mode of transcriptional regulation during myogenesis
4. Study finds blocking angiogenesis signaling from inside cell may lead to serious health problems
5. Smoking turns on genes -- permanently
6. Genes, Environment and Health Initiative invests in genetic studies, environmental monitoring
7. Hebrew SeniorLife researchers search for aging, osteoporosis genes
8. UT Southwestern researchers identify hundreds of genes controlling female fertility
9. Genes and environment grant funds close look at nature-nurture overlap in common diseases
10. Jumping genes could make for safer gene delivery system
11. Genes from the father facilitate the formation of new species
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/16/2016)... 2016   IdentyTechSolutions America LLC , a ... solutions and a cutting-edge manufacturer of software and ... offering seamless, integrated solutions that comprise IDT biometric ... solutions provide IdentyTech,s customers with combined physical identification ... crime and theft. "We are proud ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... FREMONT, Calif. , Dec. 15, 2016   ... a publicly held genomics technology company, announced today that ... the Listing Qualifications Department of The Nasdaq Stock Market ... the closing bid price of WaferGen,s common stock had ... days.  Accordingly, WaferGen has regained compliance with Listing Rule ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... "Increase in mobile transactions is driving the ... market is expected to grow from USD 4.03 billion ... a CAGR of 29.3% between 2016 and 2022. The ... demand for smart devices, government initiatives, and increasing penetration ... is expected to grow at a high rate during ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... Jan. 18, 2017  Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: NWBO) ... immune therapies for operable and inoperable solid tumor cancers, ... Technical Officer of NW Bio, will present at the ... at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Miami, ... the session entitled "New Therapeutic Approaches – Expanding the ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Opal Kelly, a leading producer ... Express, announced the ZEM5310 USB 3.0 FPGA Module, combining a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ... form factor suitable for prototyping, testing, and production-ready integration. The ZEM5310 USB interface ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017 Applied BioMath ... modeling to drug research and development, today announced ... President, and CEO of Applied BioMath, will present ... and Modeling (BAGIM) Meeting on Thursday January 19, ... Cambridge , MA.   Dr. Burke,s talk "Quantitative ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... Leven successfully implanted SpineFrontier’s A-CIFT™ Solofuse-P™. The operation took place on Wednesday, January ... NY. The procedure was an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on a 42 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: