Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cotton Roots Coaxed Into Producing Promising Compound

Date:
July 28, 2005
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
When it comes to cotton, it's usually the plants' soft, downy fibers that are the focus of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. But right now, what's getting their attention is a powerful compound extracted from the plants' roots. It has the potential to snuff out costly farm pests and diseases and perhaps even to guard against human cancers.

Biological science aide Stephanie Moss transfers cotton hairy roots that will be analyzed for gossypol.
Credit: Photo by Stephen Ausmus

When it comes to cotton, it's usually the plants' soft, downy fibers that are the focus of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. But right now, what's getting their attention is a powerful compound extracted from the plants' roots. It has the potential to snuff out costly farm pests and diseases and perhaps even to guard against human cancers.

Called gossypol, the compound is found throughout the cotton plant, in its leaves, seeds and stems. However, methods for extracting large quantities of gossypol from those parts are limited. So ARS plant physiologist Barbara Triplett wondered if she could trick the plants into growing clumps of prolific hairy roots specially primed to produce gossypol.

What's so attractive about culturing hairy roots is that they can be conveniently grown in the laboratory to produce valuable compounds throughout the year.

Hairy roots can be started from almost any plant, as long as a researcher can provide the exact environmental conditions--including temperature, pH, nutrients and hormones--needed to coax the fine tangles of roots into culture.

Through much trial and error, Triplett, who works at ARS' Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans, La., has discovered an ideal petri dish environment for growing fist-sized bunches of the gossypol-laden cotton roots.

Her colleague, SRRC chemical engineer Michael Dowd, confirms that the compound is actually present in the hairy roots and in the liquid medium surrounding them. He also monitors the quantities produced and the forms of gossypol appearing most potent.

After being extracted and purified, gossypol is, in its most essential form, a powder the color of ground mustard. With its only apparent weakness being sensitivity to sunlight, the intensely yellow compound is showing impressive antifungal, antibacterial and anticancer effects.

Dowd is providing gossypol samples to researchers from around the globe who are currently investigating the compound's glowing potential.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Cotton Roots Coaxed Into Producing Promising Compound." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050728061452.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2005, July 28). Cotton Roots Coaxed Into Producing Promising Compound. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050728061452.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Cotton Roots Coaxed Into Producing Promising Compound." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050728061452.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) The Buenos Aires Zoo debuted a trio of rare white Bengal tiger cubs on Wednesday. (April 16) 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:
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