Navigation Links
When leaves fall, more is occurring than a change of weather
Date:9/22/2008

COLUMBIA, Mo. A falling leaf often catches a poet's eye, but scientists also wonder about the phenomenon that causes leaves to fall, or abscission in plants. Abscission is the physiological process plants use to separate entire organs, such as leaves, petals, flowers and fruit, that allow plants to discard non-functional or infected organs. University of Missouri researchers have uncovered the genetic pathway that controls abscission in the plant species Arabidopsis thaliana. The ability to control abscission in plants is of special interest to those in the commercial fruit tree and cut flower industries, which rely heavily on abscission-promoting or inhibiting agents to regulate fruit quality and pre-harvest fruit drop.

"Understanding the physiological mechanism by which plants control abscission is important for understanding both plant development and plant defense mechanisms," said John Walker, director of the MU Interdisciplinary Plant Group at the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center. "Insight into the process of abscission in Arabidopsis thaliana provides a foundation for understanding this fundamental physiological process in other plant species."

Plants abscise an organ for a number of reasons, according Walker. Aged leaves, for example, may be shed to facilitate the recycling of nutrients, ripening fruits dropped to promote seed dispersal and infected or diseased floral organs discarded to prevent the spread of disease. However, why Arabidopsis thaliana is a small flowering plant that is native to Europe, Asia and northwestern Africa, sheds its floral parts after maturation is unclear. The floral part on the plant does not take significant space and abscission does not appear to serve an obvious function. Yet, the genes for abscission have been there for a really long time, Walker said.

Previous studies analyzing abscission in plants have implicated several different genes and gene products. Walker and his colleagues are the first to identify a pathway of genes involved in the process of abscission in Arabidopsis by using a combination of molecular genetics and imagine techniques.

"The process of abscission is a phenomenon that we have yet to fully understand," said Walker, who is also a professor of biological sciences in MU's College of Arts and Science. "Several different genes are involved in the process. Instead of looking at individual genes or proteins, we looked at an entire network at once to see how the difference genes work together in abscission."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kelsey Jackson
JacksonKN@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. From Canada to the Caribbean: Tree leaves control their own temperature, Penn study reveals
2. Aquaculture concept leaves judges goggle eyed
3. Why do autumn leaves bother to turn red?
4. Naturally-occurring apple compounds reduce risk of pancreatic cancer
5. Long-term study shows effect of climate change on animal diversity
6. Carbon Disclosure Project: Worlds largest corporations seek clarity on climate change regulation
7. New book brings upper US Gulf Coast climate change and sea-level rise into focus
8. Climate change could be impetus for wars, other conflicts, expert says
9. Regional Law Enforcement Data Exchange System Expands
10. Climate change threatens 1 in 5 plant species
11. Climate change may boost Middle East rainfall
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
When leaves fall, more is occurring than a change of weather
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is ... partnership with VoicePass. By working together, ... experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different ... engines increases both security and usability. ... excitement about this new partnership. "This ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a brand of ... results from the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables ... consumers, receptivity to a program where they would receive ... insurance company. "We were surprised to see ... Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because ...
(Date:5/3/2016)...  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric identification ... Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system for ... can process multiple complex biometric transactions with high ... face or iris biometrics. It leverages the core ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company ... to the medical community, has closed its Series A ... Nunez . "We have received a commitment ... capital we need to meet our current goals," stated ... us the runway to complete validation on the current ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... (EDC) software, is exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its ... Annual conference. ClinCapture will also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: ... of the QB3@953 life sciences incubator to ... health. The shared laboratory space at QB3@953 was created ... a key obstacle for many early stage organizations - ... of the sponsorship, Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... from $29.3 billion in 2013. The market is expected to grow ... 2015 to 2020, increasing from $50.6 billion in 2015 to $96.6 ... during the forecast period (2015 to 2020) are discussed. As well, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: