Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insight into plant behavior could aid quest for efficient biofuels

Date:
June 28, 2011
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Tiny seawater algae could hold the key to crops as a source of fuel and plants that can adapt to changing climates.

Tiny seawater algae could hold the key to crops as a source of fuel and plants that can adapt to changing climates.

Related Articles


Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found that the tiny organism has developed coping mechanisms for when its main food source is in short supply.

Understanding these processes will help scientists develop crops that can survive when nutrients are scarce and to grow high-yield plants for use as biofuels.

The alga normally feeds by ingesting nitrogen from surrounding seawater but, when levels are low, it reduces its intake and instead absorbs other nutrients, such as carbon and phosphorus, from the water. The organism is also able to recycle nitrogen from its own body, breaking down proteins that are plentiful to make other proteins that it needs to survive.

Nitrogen is needed by all plants to survive but the alga's survival strategies vary from most other plants which, when nitrogen is scarce, tend to widen their search for it.

Like many organisms, the alga -- Ostreococcus tauri -- is also driven by daylight and its body clock -- for example, proteins that produce starch for food are active in the evening, after the plant has photosynthesised sugars from sunlight in the day.

The study, in the Journal of Proteomics, was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Dr Sarah Martin, of the University of Edinburgh, who took part in the study, said: "This tiny alga certainly punches above its weight when it comes to survival. Our study has revealed some curious ways in which the organism finds the nutrients it needs to stay alive -- tricks like these could be useful to us in developing sustainable crops for the future."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Thierry Le Bihan, Sarah F. Martin, Eliane S. Chirnside, Gerben van Ooijen, Martin Barrios-LLerena, John S. O'Neill, Pavel V. Shliaha, Lorraine E. Kerr, Andrew J. Millar. Shotgun proteomic analysis of the unicellular alga Ostreococcus tauri. Journal of Proteomics, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.jprot.2011.05.028

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Insight into plant behavior could aid quest for efficient biofuels." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628132605.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2011, June 28). Insight into plant behavior could aid quest for efficient biofuels. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628132605.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Insight into plant behavior could aid quest for efficient biofuels." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628132605.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) A frog noticed by a conservationist on New York's Staten Island has been confirmed as a new species after extensive study and genetic testing. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A 20-year-old competition surfer said on Thursday he accidentally stepped on a shark's head before it bit him off the Australian east coast. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The Ebola epidemic has seen Senegal and Guinea Bissau close its borders with Guinea and the economic consequences have started to be felt, especially in Fouta Djallon, where the renowned potato industry has been hit hard. Duration: 02:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) Just in time for Halloween, a glowing flower goes on display in Tokyo. Instead of sorcery and magic, its creators used science to genetically modify the flower, adding a naturally fluorescent plankton protein to its genetic mix. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
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