Navigation Links
CIHR news: U of S scientists find plant gene that affects stress resistance

A University of Saskatchewan team of scientists has isolated a gene that has never before been identified in helping plants to resist stress.

The studypublished this month in the top-ranked plant journal The Plant Cellcould pave the way for development of agricultural and forestry crops that are more tolerant to environmental stresses such as ultra-violet light and other types of radiation.

Our next step is to see if plant genes weve isolated also play a similar role in fighting infections, said U of S microbiologist Wei Xiao. In previous research, our team and others have shown that similar genes in human and animal cells play an important role in protection against both viral and bacterial infections.

In an unusual collaboration, Xiao teamed up with U of S biochemist Hong Wang, two post-doctoral fellows and three graduate students on the study. Doctoral student Rui Wen is the lead author on the paper.

Using Arabidopsis, a widely accepted research model plant closely related to canola, the team cloned and characterized four genes suspected of playing a role in the plants stress responses. The team found that when plants were subjected to a DNA-damaging stressor, the plants in which one of the four genes had been turned off produced seedlings that grew slower and often died, compared with a control group.

This tells us that these genes likely play an important role in maintaining the genetic stability of the plant and protecting the plant from stress, said Xiao.

The next step is to look at whether turning on or off any of the other three genes will affect the plants resistance to environmental stresses, including viral and bacterial infections.

Xiaos previous research used cultured mammalian cells to study cancer and immunity. But since deletion of genes in living mammals would cause the embryos to die, the team turned to the plant model.

This study demonstrates for the first time that we can study this group of genes at the whole organism level, rather than just at the cellular level, which could have applications down the road for human and animal medicine in fighting cancer and infections, said Xiao, noting that plant, animal and human studies are increasingly converging around gene-based research.

In previous research using human cells, Xiao found that human genes similar to the four plant genes not only fight carcinogens but play a role in fighting viral and bacterial infections.

There are actually two closely related genes involvedone fighting against infections and the other against cancer, said Xiao. The two genesBeauty and the Beastcomplement each other when they work together, but if Beast is constantly being expressed to stimulate cells to uncontrollably reproduce, this situation can lead to cancer.

Xiaos discovery of the Beauty and Beast genes that may govern the development of cancer is cited in Milestones in Canadian Health Research:

Ten years ago, Xiao discovered a gene in bakers yeast that when inactivated causes cells to be more susceptible to DNA-damaging agents. His team then identified two similar human genes and found that when either of these was put into the yeast cells containing the inactivated gene, the problem was soon fixed and the cells grew normally.

The plant gene products under study by Xiao and Wang bind with a protein (Ubc13) which has recently been found to control activation of the immune response. This protein has also been linked to an increasing number of human diseases, including Parkinsons and breast cancer.

Long term, the teams goal is to develop screening tests for humans and animals that could detect a cancer-causing imbalance, allowing earlier treatment and prevention. Diagnostic antibodies suitable for such tests have been developed by Xiao and his U of S colleagues and have been licensed to California-based Zymed Laboratories, Inc., and Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc.


Contact: Kathryn Warden
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Related medicine news :

1. New prion protein discovered by Canadian scientists may offer insight into mad cow disease
2. Scientists Probe Sepsis Deadly Secrets
3. Scientists puzzled by severe allergic reaction to cancer drug in the middle Southern US
4. Scientists Develop Natural Protection for Stored Foods
5. Scientists detect presence of marburg virus in african fruit bats
6. Scientists Spot Brains Free Will Center
7. Scientists ID Likely Culprit in Popcorn Lung
8. Scientists explain how insulin secreting cells maintain their glucose sensitivity
9. Scripps Research scientists shed new light on how antibodies fight HIV
10. Scientists, physicians present latest findings in personalized cancer treatment and prevention
11. Scientists demonstate link between genetic variant and effectiveness of smoking cessation meds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... There is only one major question facing all law firms ... This question has not been an easy question to answer. Especially when the senior ... younger workforce don’t share the same discipline around working long hours. , In ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... A team of Swiss doctors has released a report on mesothelioma ... posted the findings on the website. Click here to read the details now. ... patients who were treated with chemotherapy followed by EPP surgery. Among the 106 patients ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ProSidebar: Fashion is ... Pro X. With ProSidebar: Fasion, video editors can easily add an informative sidebar ... minimalist title opener. Utilize presets featuring self-animating drop zones, lines, bars, and text ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... The moment you stop improving is ... fulfilling the needs of advisers and clients but going above and beyond to ... customer service. However, there's always room for improvement, which is why the entire ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Avid collector, Andrew Hawley from Vintage Rock Posters, announces his ... is one of Joplin's most famous and beautiful concert posters. The concert was held ... Ann Arbor. The According to Hawley, "It is hard to believe that Joplin's stardom ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Surface Marker Testing Market: Supplier Shares, ... their offering.  --> ... the  "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  The American Academy of Pediatrics ... and the March of Dimes cheered today,s signature ... Infants Act of 2015 (S.799), which takes ... born exposed to drugs, such as opioids, and ... all three organizations have worked together leading advocacy ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  ARKRAY USA , Inc., a ... demonstrating the accuracy of its blood glucose meter systems. ... Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in Los Angeles ... ® 01 meter and the Assure ® ... to accurately measure glucose levels in blood is essential ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: