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Mechanism discovered for plants to regulate their flowering in a warming world

New mechanism discovered that enables plants to regulate their flowering in response to raised temperatures

Date:
April 29, 2016
Source:
Monash University
Summary:
A new mechanism that enables plants to regulate their flowering in response to raised temperatures has been discovered by researchers. The finding could potentially lead to the development of technology allowing us to control the physiological response of plants and mitigate the impacts of warming temperatures.
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Associate Professor Sureshkumar Balasubramanian and Ph.D. student Craig Dent in his lab with Arabidopsis plants.
Credit: Steven Morton

Monash researchers have discovered a new mechanism that enables plants to regulate their flowering in response to raised temperatures.

Published in the journal Nature Plants, the finding could potentially lead to the development of technology allowing us to control the physiological response of plants and mitigate the impacts of warming temperatures.

The Monash team led by Associate Professor Sureshkumar Balasubramanian made the discovery by applying a combination of genetic, molecular and computational biology experiments to the flowering plant Arabidopsis.

Associate Professor Balasubramanian explained how two key basic cellular processes work together to reduce the levels of a protein that normally prevents flowering, allowing the plants to produce flowers in response to elevated temperature.

"This is very exciting as our understanding of how these genetic mechanisms work together opens up whole new possibilities for us to be able to develop technology to control when plants flower under different temperatures. These mechanisms are present in all organisms, so we may be able to transfer this knowledge to crop plants, with very promising possibilities for agriculture," Associate Professor Balasubramanian said.

While Associate Professor Balasubramanian discovered the genetic basis of temperature-induced flowering ten years ago, only now, with the availability of new computational approaches, were the researchers able to discover this mechanism.

"It will be interesting to investigate whether similar mechanisms operate in the control of other genes in response to environmental changes," said ARC Post-doctoral researcher Sridevi Sureshkumar, the paper's first author.


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Materials provided by Monash University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sridevi Sureshkumar, Craig Dent, Andrei Seleznev, Celine Tasset, Sureshkumar Balasubramanian. Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay modulates FLM-dependent thermosensory flowering response in Arabidopsis. Nature Plants, 2016; 16055 DOI: 10.1038/nplants.2016.55

Cite This Page:

Monash University. "Mechanism discovered for plants to regulate their flowering in a warming world: New mechanism discovered that enables plants to regulate their flowering in response to raised temperatures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160429133451.htm>.
Monash University. (2016, April 29). Mechanism discovered for plants to regulate their flowering in a warming world: New mechanism discovered that enables plants to regulate their flowering in response to raised temperatures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160429133451.htm
Monash University. "Mechanism discovered for plants to regulate their flowering in a warming world: New mechanism discovered that enables plants to regulate their flowering in response to raised temperatures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160429133451.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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