Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Not just another brick in the (plant cell) wall

Date:
June 17, 2011
Source:
University of Melbourne
Summary:
In a new study revealing key steps for controlling plant growth, researchers have shown how the assembly of components of the plant cell wall regulates growth of root hairs. Root hairs are important structures that allow plants to absorb essential nutrients and water from the soil. The research will assist in contributing to the sustainability of plant-based industries such as, agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

In a new study revealing key steps for controlling plant growth, researchers have shown how the assembly of components of the plant cell wall regulates growth of root hairs. Root hairs are important structures that allow plants to absorb essential nutrients and water from the soil. The research will assist in contributing to the sustainability of plant-based industries such as, agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

Related Articles


Co-author Professor Tony Bacic from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, School of Botany and the Bio21 Institute, at the University of Melbourne, said plant cell walls (plant biomass) represent the world's largest renewable resource.

"Plant sciences have become a major new driver of international research due to their central role as renewable sources of transport fuels, as functional foods to improve human health, and as a source of raw materials for industrial processes," he said.

The study was recently published in the journal Science.

Most plant roots are covered in fine root hairs which seek out nutrients in the soil and increase the roots' surface area, allowing more water and nutrients to be absorbed.

"The root hair is therefore very important and this work could have applications for plants growing in dry and nutrient-deficient soils as they need to optimise their nutrient and water uptake," Professor Bacic said.

The root hair is a single tubular cell which grows out from the plant's root surface and is surrounded by a wall rich in complex carbohydrates and glycoproteins. This wall surrounds the cell to strengthen it, like a building scaffold.

So to study root hair growth, an international multidisciplinary team of researchers from Argentina, Australia, the United States, Denmark and Brazil targeted genes involved in the production of wall glycoproteins in the model laboratory plant Arabidopsis.

The team identified three groups of genes required for the assembly of the cell wall scaffold glycoprotein, called extensin. When the genes were prevented from functioning, the root hairs were stunted. Without these scaffold glycoproteins and their complete sugar decorations they don't form their correct molecular shape to enable root hair growth. What controls the expression of these genes is the next important question to be addressed.

"This study enhances our fundamental understanding of the growth of plants, our major renewable resource, and would not have been possible without our international collaboration through the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls," said Professor Bacic.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Silvia M. Velasquez, Martiniano M. Ricardi, Javier Gloazzo Dorosz, Paula V. Fernandez, Alejandro D. Nadra, Laercio Pol-Fachin, Jack Egelund, Sascha Gille, Jesper Harholt, Marina Ciancia, Hugo Verli, Markus Pauly, Antony Bacic, Carl Erik Olsen, Peter Ulvskov, Bent Larsen Petersen, Chris Somerville, Norberto D. Iusem and Jose M. Estevez. O-glycosylated cell wall proteins are essential in root hair growth. Science, June 17, 2011 DOI: 10.1126/science.1206657

Cite This Page:

University of Melbourne. "Not just another brick in the (plant cell) wall." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110617110626.htm>.
University of Melbourne. (2011, June 17). Not just another brick in the (plant cell) wall. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110617110626.htm
University of Melbourne. "Not just another brick in the (plant cell) wall." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110617110626.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) Video of pandas play fighting at the Chengdu Research Base in China will make your day. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) 3-D printing helps another two-legged dog run around with his four-legged friends. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the adorable video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

RightThisMinute (Jan. 28, 2015) From new-puppy happy tears to helpful-grocery-carrying-dog laughter, our four-legged best friends can make us feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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