Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene that helps plant cells finding right direction

Date:
April 30, 2014
Source:
Ume 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 Ume University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

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

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) 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