Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genes Key To Hormone Production In Plants Identified

Date:
April 7, 2008
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have pinpointed a small group of genes responsible for "telling" plants when, where and how to produce a hormone that is key to their development. Their findings shed light on the ways in which hormone production in plants affects both a plant's growth and its ability to adapt to changing environments.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have pinpointed a small group of genes responsible for "telling" plants when, where and how to produce a hormone that is key to their development. Their findings shed light on the ways in which hormone production in plants affects both a plant's growth and its ability to adapt to changing environments.

Dr. Jose Alonso, assistant professor of genetics, and a team of geneticists and plant biologists from NC State, Germany and the Czech Republic conducted the research.

Plant growth and development are regulated by a small number of hormones, which plants combine in various ways so that they can adapt to and thrive in changing environmental conditions. Auxin and ethylene are two of the most important of these growth-regulating hormones.

Scientists had previously established that plants respond differently to ethylene depending upon the type of plant tissue it is applied to, the developmental stage of the plant, and the surrounding environmental conditions. They also knew that the presence of auxin, another key growth-regulator, often served as a "trigger" for a plant to produce more ethylene, but were unsure of the ways in which auxin was synthesized.

"Auxin controls almost every process in a plant," Alonso says, "and so it's very important to understand how and why auxin is produced within the plant."

In order to find out more about how auxin production is triggered, the NC State team identified a mutant strain of Arabidopsis -- or mustard weed -- that had a root system insensitive to the growth inhibitory effect of ethylene.

When the team looked at the genome of this mutant strain of mustard weed, they discovered that its lack of response to ethylene was due to the changes in a gene that they named TAA1. This gene produces a protein that is necessary for auxin synthesis. In a normal plant, the TAA1 gene recognizes the presence of ethylene as its signal to make proteins that in turn synthesize auxin, which controls growth.

The researchers found that if the TAA1 gene and two other related genes were "knocked out" or inactive, the plant had 50 percent less auxin than normal.

Their findings are the first to definitively establish a relationship between a particular family of genes, tissue-specific ethylene response, and auxin production in plants.

"If we want to do intelligent manipulation of plants, to breed them so that they ripen at a certain rate, or so that they're well-adapted to particular environments, then we need to understand more about the ways that these hormones interact or 'talk' to each other," Alonso says. "This research gives us concrete evidence for at least one way in which this happens."

Journal reference: Anna N. Stepanova, Joyce Robertson-Hoyt, Jeonga Yun, Larissa M. Benavente, De-Yu Xie, and Jose M. Alonso, NC State University; et al."TAA1-mediated Auxin Biosynthesis is Essential for Hormone Crosstalk and Plant Development." Cell. April 3, 2008.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Genes Key To Hormone Production In Plants Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080403131915.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2008, April 7). Genes Key To Hormone Production In Plants Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080403131915.htm
North Carolina State University. "Genes Key To Hormone Production In Plants Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080403131915.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. 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