Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Yale Study Pinpoints How Plants Adjust To And Grow In Various Lighting Conditions

Date:
May 25, 2000
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Yale researchers have identified how plants adjust their growth patterns to adapt to various lighting environments, paving the way for development of bigger, stronger plants that are more tolerant to pests and pathogens-bacteria and fungus.

Yale researchers have identified how plants adjust their growth patterns to adapt to various lighting environments, paving the way for development of bigger, stronger plants that are more tolerant to pests and pathogens-bacteria and fungus.

"Our study is the first step in understanding the biochemical mechanism of this process in plants," said Xing-Wang Deng, associate professor and director of graduate studies in Yale's Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology. "There's a key developmental switch that tells plants what to do in different lighting conditions. All the components in this switch are also present in humans and our work could provide clues to understanding conditions like winter depression and jet lag."

Published in the May 25 issue of Nature, Deng and his team showed that plants have a sophisticated way of adapting to seasonal changes and lighting environment. They grow differently depending on the direction, light-dark period, intensity and the wavelength-color of the light. "They don't necessarily grow faster or slower, Deng said. "They just grow in the best way possible to harvest whatever sunlight is provided to them."

Using Arabidopsis, a weed-like model for plant research, Deng's team grew seedlings under lights with varying intensities and wavelengths, resulting in drastically diverse growth patterns. In higher intensity light conditions, the Arabidopsis grew shorter, but stronger and greener. In darker conditions, they grew taller, but with thinner stems, and yellow leaves.

The different growth patterns are due to the breakdown of key control proteins in the plants, the team found. Multiple photoreceptors in the seedlings perceive light signals and send this information to two protein components-COP1 and HY5, which then regulate seedling development. There are over a dozen different components involved in the process. Deng said the findings are the first clue to understanding how the entire mechanism works at the biochemical level.

"We have found the key to how a plant can sense its light environment and modify its development to optimize photosynthesis, which turns light energy into chemical energy," said Deng. "The immediate application would be for agriculture. Farmers can alter crops so they will thrive in less favorable light conditions. This finding can also be used to make greenhouse plants grow much stronger and healthier in early spring, when light is not as abundant."

Deng's research team in Yale's Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology included Mark T. Osterlund, Ph.D. student; Christian S. Hardtke, postdoctoral fellow and Ning Wei, associate research scientist.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Yale Study Pinpoints How Plants Adjust To And Grow In Various Lighting Conditions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000525072508.htm>.
Yale University. (2000, May 25). Yale Study Pinpoints How Plants Adjust To And Grow In Various Lighting Conditions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000525072508.htm
Yale University. "Yale Study Pinpoints How Plants Adjust To And Grow In Various Lighting Conditions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000525072508.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
USDA Cracks Down On Imports From Foreign Puppy Mills

USDA Cracks Down On Imports From Foreign Puppy Mills

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) New USDA measures to regulate dog imports aim to crack down on buying dogs from overseas puppy mills. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bone Marrow Drug Regrows Hair In Some Alopecia Patients

Bone Marrow Drug Regrows Hair In Some Alopecia Patients

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) Researchers performed an experiment using an FDA-approved drug known as ruxolitinib. They found it to be successful in the majority of patients. 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