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Plants cut the mustard for basic discoveries in metabolism

Date:
February 5, 2013
Source:
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Summary:
You might think you have nothing in common with mustard except hotdogs. Yet based on research in a plant from the mustard family, scientists have discovered a possible explanation for how organisms, including humans, directly regulate chemical reactions that quickly adjust the growth of organs. These findings overturn conventional views of how different body parts coordinate their growth, shedding light on the development of more productive plants and new therapies for metabolic diseases.

Upon sensing the threat of shade from a neighboring plant, Arabidopsis thaliana plants rapidly elongate different tissues by increasing the levels of growth-promoting hormones. This growth is regulated by the VAS1 enzyme. As seen in the photo on the right, plants lacking VAS1 have an exaggerated response to shade.
Credit: Courtesy of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies

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Salk Institute for Biological Studies. "Plants cut the mustard for basic discoveries in metabolism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205173621.htm>.
Salk Institute for Biological Studies. (2013, February 5). Plants cut the mustard for basic discoveries in metabolism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205173621.htm
Salk Institute for Biological Studies. "Plants cut the mustard for basic discoveries in metabolism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205173621.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

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