Navigation Links
Plant genes identified that can form basis for crops better adapted to environmental conditions

Roots are crucial for the development of strong, healthy crops. But until recently, exactly which genes are involved in the development of roots was still a mystery. Scientists from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) connected to Ghent University have now analyzed a complete plant genome in order to identify the genes that are essential for the formation of capillary roots. For the first time, they are unraveling the genetic basis for the branching of the root system − the key to a plant's further growth and development.

The mystery of capillary root formation

Root systems absorb nutrients and anchor plants in the soil − two crucial functions for a plant's growth and further development. The formation of capillary roots is vital to the root system and determines how much water and minerals a plant can absorb. As early as 1937, scientists knew that it takes only 4 months for a single rye plant to produce some 13 million individual roots! But up to now, the genetic basis of this complex process has remained unexplained.

The production of new roots is a complex combination of cell division, growth and differentiation. A specialized layer of cells in the root − the pericycle cells − must be activated to start dividing again. Therefore, it is also crucial that the cell cycle − the process that directs cell division − be under optimal control. Although the precise factors that underlie these processes and how they work together are virtually unknown, it has been quite clear that an enormous number of factors are involved.

Tom Beeckman and his team in the VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology took on the challenge of identifying all the genes that are involved in the process of capillary root formation. They used a simple model plant for this study: the Mouse-ear Cress or Arabidopsis thaliana.

Large-scale research identifies genes involved in capillary root formation

First of all, the researchers developed a special method − the Lateral Root-Inducible System (LRIS) − with which they are able to have capillary roots grow in a controlled manner. They studied all the genes that are connected with the formation of capillary roots and compared them with the complete genome of a plant that is unable to form capillary roots. By analyzing these large data sets in detail, the Ghent team discovered which genes are crucial for the formation of new capillary roots. For this part of the project, they used micro-array technology, with which thousands of samples can be studied simultaneously.

The development of capillary roots is important for sustainable agriculture

Capillary root formation is controlled by both internal and external signals. This ensures that the root system adapts itself to changes in the soil − a very heterogeneous and changeable environment. From the agricultural point of view, the branching of the root is essential because roots are responsible for helping plants adapt to adverse environmental conditions. A better understanding of capillary root formation will enable the cultivation of crops that absorb water and minerals more efficiently. An important step toward a more environment-friendly, sustainable agriculture in a world whose population is growing while the land available for agriculture is diminishing.

Tom Beeckman is in charge of the root development group in the VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology, which is under the direction of Dirk Inz (for more info, see:www.vib.be/Research/EN/Research+Departments/Department+of+Plant+Systems+Biology/Tom+Beeckman)


'"/>

Source:VIB, Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology


Related biology news :

1. Quantum Dots Research Leads to New Knowledge about Protein Binding in Plants
2. Plants, animals share molecular growth mechanisms
3. Plants respond similarly to signals from friends, enemies
4. Affymetrix Unveils Plans to Double Plant and Animal Genome Microarray Offering
5. Plant hemoglobins: Oxygen handlers critical for nitrogen fixation
6. Plants defy Mendels inheritance laws, may prompt textbook changes
7. Whats really making you sick? Plant pathologists offer the science behind Sick Building Syndrome
8. Plant Sacrifices Cells to Fight Invaders
9. Breakthrough System for Understanding Ocean Plant Life Announced
10. Plant pathologists evaluate eco-friendly alternatives to methyl bromide
11. Study: Plants use dual defense system to fight pathogens
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/4/2017)... 2017   EyeLock LLC , a leader of ... States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. ... of an iris image with a face image acquired ... company,s 45 th issued patent. ... given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come ...
(Date:3/29/2017)...  higi, the health IT company that operates the ... , today announced a Series B investment from ... The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to ... population health activities through the collection and workflow integration ... collects and secures data today on behalf of over ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected ... 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... Corporate Directors Forum is recognizing six San Diego directors ... Year Awards. , The awards will be presented Thursday, September 7th, from 6 to ... who have made significantly positive contributions in the boardrooms of some of our region’s ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... July 18, 2017 , ... ... R&D, today announced that Merck, a leading science and technology company, has implemented ... innovative therapeutics for the therapeutic areas of Oncology, Immunology, and Neurodegenerative Diseases. , ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... ... Software ( https://dataformsoftware.com ) announces the migration of its flagship cloud-based product Planet ... is a team-centric, enterprise work management system that merges strategic and financial planning ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... N.J. (PRWEB) , ... July 17, 2017 , ... ... laboratory equipment and analytical instruments announced the launch of its new line of ... heavy-duty orbital shaker models (both analog and digital) for laboratory applications. These ...
Breaking Biology Technology: