Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sensor important to understanding root, seedling development

Date:
September 25, 2010
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
A biosensor utilizing black platinum and carbon nanotubes will help give scientists a better understanding of how the plant hormone auxin regulates root growth and seedling establishment.

Marshall Porterfield, at left, and Angus Murphy will be able to better understand how the plant hormone auxin regulates plant root growth and seedling establishment with a biosensor developed at Purdue University.
Credit: Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell

A biosensor utilizing black platinum and carbon nanotubes developed at Purdue University will help give scientists a better understanding of how the plant hormone auxin regulates root growth and seedling establishment.

Marshall Porterfield, an associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering and biomedical engineering, created a new sensor to detect the movement of auxin along a plant's root surface in real time without damaging the plants.

The nanomaterials at the sensor's tip react with auxin and create an electrical signal that can be measured to determine the auxin concentration at a single point. The sensor oscillates, taking concentration readings at different points around a plant root. An algorithm then determines whether auxin is being released or taken in by surrounding cells.

"It is the equilibrium and transport dynamics that are important with auxin," said Porterfield, whose findings were published in the early online version of The Plant Journal.

A current focus of auxin research is understanding how this hormone regulates root growth in plants growing on sub-optimal soils. Angus Murphy, a Purdue professor of horticulture and the paper's co-author, said that worldwide pressure on land for food and energy crops drives efforts to better understand how plant roots adapt to marginal soils. Auxin is one of the major hormones involved in that adaptive growth.

"It's the key effector of these processes," Murphy said.

Although sensors using similar nanomaterials have been in use for real-time measurement of auxin levels along a root surface for several years, those earlier sensors required application of external auxin at toxic levels as part of the measurement process. Porterfield and Eric McLamore, a former Purdue postdoctoral researcher, created a new algorithm to decode the information obtained from the sensor. The algorithm processes the sensor information to show whether the hormone is moving into or out of cells. This allows the sensor to be self-referencing, eliminates the need for auxin application, and allows instantaneous and continuous measurements to be made during root growth.

Other current methods based on radioisotope tracers and auxin-responsive fluorescent proteins inserted into the plant can detect changes taking place over hours. Most auxin responses take place on a timescale of minutes.

Murphy said auxin movement is key to how plants adapt to their environments. He said that the effort to develop the sensor with Porterfield originated with the need to improve real-time measurement capability and develop a method that allows comparison with other measurements to better understand how auxin transport and other biological functions are connected.

"Using sensors like this, we can get answers that just aren't possible with existing tools," Murphy said. "Being able to measure the efflux and uptake simultaneously is really essential to a lot of ongoing work."

Murphy and Porterfield were looking for a simple model to use to test the sensor and chose an auxin transport mutant in corn. Wendy Peer, a Purdue assistant professor of horticulture and a paper co-author who studies seedling development and establishment, collaborated with Murphy in a detailed analysis of auxin transport in mutant and control corn roots using traditional methods. The information was then used to validate the sensor's functionality.

Murphy plans to continue testing on other auxin-related mutants. The National Science Foundation and the U. S. Department of Energy funded the research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. The original article was written by Brian Wallheimer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E.S. McLamore, A. Diggs, P. Calvo Marzal, J. Shi, J.J. Blakeslee, W.A. Peer, A.S. Murphy, D.M. Porterfield. Non-invasive quantification of endogenous root auxin transport using an integrated flux microsensor technique. The Plant Journal, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04300.x

Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Sensor important to understanding root, seedling development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100823162326.htm>.
Purdue University. (2010, September 25). Sensor important to understanding root, seedling development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100823162326.htm
Purdue University. "Sensor important to understanding root, seedling development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100823162326.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
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