Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plants evolve ways to control embryo growth

Date:
April 10, 2014
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
A new generation of high yield plants could be created following a fundamental change in our understanding of how plants develop, experts say. The research provides the first evidence that plants have evolved ways to control embryo growth and development by emitting information from surrounding cells.

This is a confocal laser scanning microcope image of an early embryo with surrounding placental endosperm cells.
Credit: University of Warwick

A new generation of high yield plants could be created following a fundamental change in our understanding of how plants develop.

The research, led by the University of Warwick and published in the journal Science, provides the first evidence that plants have evolved ways to control embryo growth and development by emitting information from surrounding cells.

The international study, headed by Dr Jose Gutierrez-Marcos from Warwick's School of Life Sciences, revealed that female sex cells and the placenta-like endosperm contained within plant seeds send out specific signals to developing embryos to help direct their growth.

"This new information fundamentally changes our understanding of plant development and opens up exciting avenues of research, which could allow for the breeding and propagation of plants that incorporate the most successful characteristics of existing species," said Dr Gutierrez-Marcos.

"With rising global populations and changing climates, there is an increasing need for more robust plant varieties that provide higher yields and can grow under a wide set of environmental conditions. By understanding how plants control embryo growth we have opened up the possibility of breeding a new generation of plants that potentially meet these requirements."

Plant embryos are found within seeds and, once germinated, give rise to the adult plant. It was previously thought that embryo development was determined by the genetic make-up of the embryo alone.

The new research has however shown that specific cell-types present in the embryo environment can send out protein signals to also influence this process.

This situation mirrors a similar scenario in mammals, whereby embryo development is regulated by signals sent out by neighboring placental cells.

Understanding how these cells of non-embryonic origin can influence developing plant embryos, the researchers argue, is key to creating new, improved plant species including advantageous hybrid crops, where at present embryos often fail to develop properly when distantly-related parents are used.

"Before our discovery, the ability of non-embryonic plant cells to direct embryo growth was unrecognized, but we now have valuable information that neighboring cells can directly interact with and influence embryos, most likely via a cascade of protein signals. The next step is to identify the embryonic factors that respond to these non-embryonic signals and understand their mode of action" commented Dr Gutierrez-Marcos.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. L. M. Costa, E. Marshall, M. Tesfaye, K. A. T. Silverstein, M. Mori, Y. Umetsu, S. L. Otterbach, R. Papareddy, H. G. Dickinson, K. Boutiller, K. A. VandenBosch, S. Ohki, J. F. Gutierrez-Marcos. Central Cell-Derived Peptides Regulate Early Embryo Patterning in Flowering Plants. Science, 2014; 344 (6180): 168 DOI: 10.1126/science.1243005

Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Plants evolve ways to control embryo growth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410141914.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2014, April 10). Plants evolve ways to control embryo growth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410141914.htm
University of Warwick. "Plants evolve ways to control embryo growth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410141914.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
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