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.

Related Articles


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 April 18, 2015 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 April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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