Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic Pathway Responsible For Much Of Plant Growth Identified

Date:
May 22, 2009
Source:
Iowa State University
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a previously unknown pathway in plant cells that regulates plant growth.

Corn field. Researchers have discovered a previously unknown pathway in plant cells that regulates plant growth.
Credit: iStockphoto/Bill Grove

Researchers at Iowa State University have discovered a previously unknown pathway in plant cells that regulates plant growth.

Yanhai Yin, an assistant professor in genetics, development and cell biology, examined signaling mechanisms of a plant hormone called brassinosteroids. The hormone controls the growth of cells.

The brassinosteroids (BRs) have a major impact on how large the plant grows, says Yin.

"Previously, we knew that steroids promote growth," said Yin. "In model plants like Arabidopsis (a relative of mustard) and crops such as corn and rice, if you have more steroids, you have more growth, and if you have less steroids, you have less growth and the plant is smaller."

Now Yin knows that the HERK1 (named for Hercules -- the Greek and Roman god who possessed superhuman strength) pathway, induced by BRs, is controlling much of that growth.

Yin and his team's findings are in the May 5 edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

There are many other internal and external factors such as light, nutrition and hydration that effect plant growth, but the HERK1, along with some unknown signals, have a great effect.

Yin and his team of Hongqing Guo, assistant scientist; Lei Li, Huaxun Ye, and Xiaofei Yu, all graduate students; and Alexandria Algreen, undergraduate student; have shown that by over-expressing HERK1, they were able to increase a plant's size by 10 to 15 percent.

By under-expressing HERK1, the plants were about 50 percent smaller.

Now Yin and his group are trying to find what regulates HERK1 and how HERK1 controls growth.

Understanding what make plants get bigger could be a critical component when producing grain and bio-mass for biofuels.

"With that knowledge, maybe we have one more tool to manipulate corn and rice if we want more grain, or if we want more mass for bio-energy crops," he said.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Iowa State University. "Genetic Pathway Responsible For Much Of Plant Growth Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520100511.htm>.
Iowa State University. (2009, May 22). Genetic Pathway Responsible For Much Of Plant Growth Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520100511.htm
Iowa State University. "Genetic Pathway Responsible For Much Of Plant Growth Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520100511.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