Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene that helps plant cells finding right direction

Date:
April 30, 2014
Source:
Umeĺ University
Summary:
The SABRE gene is necessary for plants to coordinate the polarity of their cells, a plant physiologist shows in his doctoral thesis. The gene “tells” all cells in a certain region what is up and what is down and how they should modify their form accordingly. Plant cell growth is often coordinated within a tissue layer, a concept that researchers name planar polarity.

Plant physiologist Stefano Pietra shows in his doctoral thesis that the SABRE gene is necessary for plants to coordinate the polarity of their cells. The gene "tells" all cells in a certain region what is up and what is down and how they should modify their form accordingly.

Plant cell growth is often coordinated within a tissue layer, a concept that researchers name planar polarity.

"How cells within a large area all get the information to orient in a similar way is still not entirely clear, but my research identifies a new player that is involved in this process, the SABRE gene," says Stefano Pietra.

He has analysed the position of small hairs on root cells of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, a small weed. These hairs grow with a specific orientation -- similar to those on the skin of animals and men that all point in the same direction. Hair orientation is very easy to observe, and the analysis gives insight on the mechanisms coordinating cell polarity in other parts of the organism.

In addition to coordinating the polarity of cells, Stefano Pietra also shows thatSABRE makes sure that cells divide neatly and form long straight files that align to the direction of root growth. If the SABRE gene is not functional, cell divisions are not perpendicular to the root growth direction, cell files are not straight, and the overall root morphology is affected.

Another role of SABRE is to stabilize patterning of the root surface, which is the coordinated decision of all cells in a file to either grow a hair or not. This selection is driven by the mechanisms that control how initially identical cells differentiate and acquire specific shapes and functions, an essential process in all multicellular organisms.

The exact way in which SABRE performs its functions is still unclear, but Stefano Pietra has discovered that the gene has an effect on the organization of the plant cytoskeleton, a scaffolding of small and very dynamic filaments and tubules that controls many cellular processes including shape acquisition and growth. Organization of the cytoskeleton could therefore be important in plants for coordinating the polarity of cells and the specification of their fate.

Not only plants, but also animals and humans need mechanisms to orient their cells and to tell them in which direction they should grow; when these mechanisms do not work the organisms have serious problems to develop and often die prematurely.

Genes similar to SABRE are present in many species, including men, but their function is still unknown.

"Having found one function of SABRE in plants, my research could help studying similar genes in other species. My study also opens the way for future studies on the role of the cytoskeleton and the exact relationship between SABRE and the cytoskeleton."

The digital version of the thesis with the title "Characterization of New Players in Planar Polarity Establishment in Arabidopsis": http://umu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:711983&rvn=1


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Umeĺ University. "Gene that helps plant cells finding right direction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430082858.htm>.
Umeĺ University. (2014, April 30). Gene that helps plant cells finding right direction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430082858.htm
Umeĺ University. "Gene that helps plant cells finding right direction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430082858.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) — Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) — With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) — Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) — Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
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