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 April 16, 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 April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 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
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees

Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) An Allegiant Airlines plane from Las Vegas to Duluth, Minnesota turned around shortly after take-off, after a swarm of bees clouded the windshield and got sucked into the engines. (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