Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Plant Mutation Produces Tap Root With Large Amounts Of Oil, Proteins, And Starch

Date:
July 7, 1997
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
Scientists at the Carnegie Institution and the University of California, Berkeley, have discovered a mutation in plants that makes the tap root accumulate large amounts of oils, proteins, and starch. The discovery could lead to genetically engineered plants that store commercially useful substances in an enlarged root.

Scientists at the Carnegie Institution and the University of California, Berkeley, have discovered a mutation in plants that makes the tap root accumulate large amounts of oils, proteins, and starch. The discovery could lead to genetically engineered plants that store commercially useful substances in an enlarged root. The finding could also make possible the creation of more nutritious root crops with a better balance of oil, protein, and starch. (Most root crops in Third World countries, such as cassava and taro, contain only starch.) The mutation was found in the experimental plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Once the gene containing the mutation has been cloned, it should be possible to track down the analogous gene in other plants, such as turnips, radishes, and sweet potato.

The mutation, called "pickle" because of its appearance, was discovered independently by two teams who report their findings in a joint paper in the July 4 issue of Science. The leader of the Carnegie team is Christopher Somerville, director of Carnegie's Department of Plant Biology in Stanford, California. The leader of the Berkeley team is Z. Renee Sung, professor of plant and microbial biology at UC Berkeley.

The pickle mutation mimics what happens in seeds, which typically are the major structures accumulating and storing proteins and oils. That's the reason seeds are excellent sources of these substances, and are nutritionally superior to root crops. The scientists found that the mutated plant fails to switch the tap root cells from their seed or embryonic program of storing protein and oil to the adult program. "Normally after germination the plant begins to express a new set of genes that cause the seedling to mature into an adult," says Somervillle. "In this mutation the cells destined to become primary root cells retain the character of embryonic cells. They fail to make the switch from embryonic to adult." The Carnegie team found that gibberellin, a common plant hormone required for seed germination and growth after germination, plays an important part in the switch from embryo to adult. The mutation has its greatest effect when gibberellin is not present during the first 24 hours of growth, thus establishing a hitherto unknown role for this plant hormone.

For more information, contact http://www.berkeley.edu/news/index.html

The research was supported by an NSF grant to Sung and a US DOE grant to Somerville. Dr. Somerville can be reached at 415-325- 1521, ext. 203 or crs@andrew.stanford.edu; Dr. Sung is at 510-642-6966 or zrsung@nature.berkeley.edu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "New Plant Mutation Produces Tap Root With Large Amounts Of Oil, Proteins, And Starch." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/07/970707211536.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (1997, July 7). New Plant Mutation Produces Tap Root With Large Amounts Of Oil, Proteins, And Starch. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/07/970707211536.htm
Carnegie Institution. "New Plant Mutation Produces Tap Root With Large Amounts Of Oil, Proteins, And Starch." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/07/970707211536.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins