PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Shedding light on the long and the short of plant growth

Shedding light on the long and the short of plant growth
2021-04-19
(Press-News.org) What keeps some plants squatting close to the soil while others - even those closely related - reach high for the skies?

New research addressing the architecture and growth habit of plants has provided an answer to this question and may assist in the development of better performing crops.

The way plants grow must sometimes satisfy contradictory needs. Growing close to the ground, decreases the chances of being grazed, but this presents the need to rise rapidly to allow seeds to disperse. This can be observed in dandelions and in Arabidopsis, a model species commonly used to study plant development.

Agriculture has taken advantage of the diversification of growth habit so that we observe in brassicas for example, a rich and varied assortment of shapes from the compressed rosette growth of cabbages to the tall rangy outlines of crops such as oilseed rape.

This study by John Innes Centre researchers reveals the genes that control changes in growth habit.

Using genetic analysis, microscopy and a technique called ChIP sequencing, researchers found that compact growth is imposed by two different types of genes, called ATH1 and DELLA), which work in parallel.

To convert compact growth to elongated growth, both types of genes need to be turned off. When active, either of them can stop the activity of well-known genes that normally promote elongated growth, for example, in response to light conditions.

Professor Robert Sablowski Group Leader and corresponding author of the study said: "It is well known that the way plants grow depends heavily on the environment. At the same time, each species of plant keeps its recognisable shape. We know a little about how responses to the environment are integrated with the genetic mechanisms that give plants their basic, characteristic shape, or morphology. Thanks to this study, we now understand how responses to the environment can be modified in specific parts of the plant to produce their characteristic shape.

"It was exciting to see that a relatively small number of genetic changes can convert the plant's growth habit from one like cabbage to one like oilseed rape. It remains to be seen whether comparable changes explain the differences in growth habit we see in nature."

A similar mechanism of two genes behaving similarly and affecting elongation has been found in rice, suggesting it might be a common mechanism to control plant architecture.

Genes that control plant height are important in agriculture with dwarfing traits underpinning the highly productive phase of the mid- 20th century known as the green revolution. DELLA genes have been used extensively in crop breeding to improve yield and facilitate harvest.

A better knowledge of genes that regulate how tall the plant grows can lead to more precise ways to improve the shape of crop plants.

Next the researchers are planning to better understand how ATH1 itself is regulated.

"If we can alter the location or time when ATH1 is active, this could lead to useful ways to modify plant height and shape," says first author Dr Mahwish Ejaz.

"We have shown that ATH1 and DELLA genes prevent stem growth in part by stopping the activity of genes that cause stems to elongate in response to light. But this is not the whole story - there are many other genes and processes that ATH1 and DELLAs regulate to change the growth habit, most of which remain unstudied," she added.

INFORMATION:

In this study Stefano Bencivenga did initial experiments that identified genes controlled by ATH1, Mahwish Ejaz and Robert Sablowski did most of the experiments on the interaction between ATH1/DELLA and light responses, with additional experimental support from Max Bush and Rafael Tavares.

Arabidopsis Homeobox Gene1 controls plant architecture by locally restricting environmental responses appears in PNAS: https://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.2018615118


[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Shedding light on the long and the short of plant growth

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Stanford researchers use AI to empower environmental regulators

Stanford researchers use AI to empower environmental regulators
2021-04-19
Like superheroes capable of seeing through obstacles, environmental regulators may soon wield the power of all-seeing eyes that can identify violators anywhere at any time, according to a new Stanford University-led study. The paper, published the week of April 19 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), demonstrates how artificial intelligence combined with satellite imagery can provide a low-cost, scalable method for locating and monitoring otherwise hard-to-regulate industries. (WATCH VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHvRgKmJOK8) "Brick kilns have proliferated across Bangladesh to supply the growing economy with construction materials, which makes it really hard for regulators to keep up with new kilns that are constructed," ...

Learning about system stability from ants

Learning about system stability from ants
2021-04-19
A new type of collective behaviour in ants has been revealed by an international team of scientists, headed by biologist Professor Iain Couzin, co-director of the Cluster of Excellence "Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour" at the University of Konstanz and director at the co-located Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, and Matthew Lutz, a postdoctoral researcher in Couzin's lab. Their research shows how ants use self-organized architectural structures called "scaffolds" to ensure traffic flow on sloped surfaces. Scaffold formation results from individual sensing and decision-making, ...

POT1 gene mutation predisposes to glioma and affects survival in a sex-specific manner

2021-04-19
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and collaborators at other institutions have discovered that POT1, a gene known to be associated with risk of glioma, the most common type of malignant brain tumor, mediates its effects in a sex-specific manner. Researchers found that female mice with glioma that lacked the gene survived less than males. This led them to investigate human glioma cells, where they found that low POT1 expression correlated with reduced survival in females. Published in the journal Cancer Research, the study also shows that, compared to males', female tumors had reduced expression of immune signatures and increased expression of cell replication markers, suggesting that the immune response and tumor cell proliferation seemed to be ...

Scientists identify protein that could serve as a therapeutic target in lung cancer

2021-04-19
Scientists at VCU Massey Cancer Center have identified a protein that operates in tandem with a specific genetic mutation to spur lung cancer growth and could serve as a therapeutic target to treat the disease. Mutations in the p53 gene are found in more than half of all cancers, but it remains difficult to effectively target the gene with drugs even decades after its discovery. Though previous research has shown that p53 acts as a tumor suppressor and initiates cancer cell death in its natural state, a new study led by Sumitra Deb, Ph.D., suggests that gain-of-function (GOF) mutations -- a type of mutation where the changed gene has an added function ...

New AI tool tracks evolution of COVID-19 conspiracy theories on social media

New AI tool tracks evolution of COVID-19 conspiracy theories on social media
2021-04-19
LOS ALAMOS, N.M., April 19, 2021--A new machine-learning program accurately identifies COVID-19-related conspiracy theories on social media and models how they evolved over time--a tool that could someday help public health officials combat misinformation online. "A lot of machine-learning studies related to misinformation on social media focus on identifying different kinds of conspiracy theories," said Courtney Shelley, a postdoctoral researcher in the Information Systems and Modeling Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory and co-author of the study that was published last week in the Journal of ...

Penn study finds reassuring data on common heart valve procedure, MitraClip

2021-04-19
PHILADELPHIA-- A retrospective study led by researchers from Penn Medicine found that with MitraClip for treatment of secondary mitral regurgitation (MR), a heart disease associated with problems in the left ventricle, there was no negative effect of having a slightly smaller mitral valve opening as long as there was good reduction of the mitral regurgitation. The study is published today in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions. "This data is very reassuring for physicians who place MitraClips in patients with secondary mitral regurgitation. It demonstrates that the benefits of MR reduction in patients with heart failure were maintained even when mild-to-moderate mitral stenosis, which can be caused by a narrowing of the ...

Addressing and integrating social determinants of health effective in reducing blood pressure in pat

Addressing and integrating social determinants of health effective in reducing blood pressure in pat
2021-04-19
While cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death globally, new research led by NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Moi University School of Medicine (Kenya) found that addressing and incorporating social determinants of health (such as poverty and social isolation) in the clinical management of blood pressure in Kenya can improve outcomes for patients with diabetes or hypertension. The study -- recently published online in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology - found that after one year, patients who received a multi-component intervention that combined community microfinance groups with group medical visits (where patients with similar medical conditions met together with a clinician and community health worker) ...

Research inside hill slopes could help wildfire and drought prediction

2021-04-19
A first-of-its-kind study led by The University of Texas at Austin has found that rock weathering and water storage appear to follow a similar pattern across undulating landscapes where hills rise and fall for miles. The findings are important because they suggest that these patterns could improve predictions of wildfire and landslide risk and how droughts will affect the landscape, since weathering and water storage influence how water and nutrients flow throughout landscapes. "There's a lot of momentum to do this work right now," said study co-author Daniella Rempe, an assistant professor at the UT Jackson School of Geosciences Department of Geological Sciences. "This kind of data, across large scales, is what is needed to inform next-generation models of land-surface processes." The ...

New algorithm uses online learning for massive cell data sets

2021-04-19
The fact that the human body is made up of cells is a basic, well-understood concept. Yet amazingly, scientists are still trying to determine the various types of cells that make up our organs and contribute to our health. A relatively recent technique called single-cell sequencing is enabling researchers to recognize and categorize cell types by characteristics such as which genes they express. But this type of research generates enormous amounts of data, with datasets of hundreds of thousands to millions of cells. A new algorithm developed by Joshua Welch, Ph.D., of the Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, Ph.D. candidate Chao Gao and their team uses online learning, greatly speeding up this process and providing a way for researchers ...

Light up your mind: A novel light-based treatment for neurodegenerative diseases

Light up your mind: A novel light-based treatment for neurodegenerative diseases
2021-04-19
A lot about the human brain and its intricacies continue to remain a mystery. With the advancement of neurobiology, the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases (ND) has been uncovered to a certain extent along with molecular targets around which current therapies revolve. However, while the current treatments offer temporary symptomatic relief and slow down the course of the disease, they do not completely cure the condition and are often accompanied by a myriad of side effects that can impair normal daily functions of the patient. Light stimulation has been proposed as a promising therapeutic alternative for treating various ND like ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Scientists model 'true prevalence' of COVID-19 throughout pandemic

New breakthrough to help immune systems in the fight against cancer

Through the thin-film glass, researchers spot a new liquid phase

Administering opioids to pregnant mice alters behavior and gene expression in offspring

Brain's 'memory center' needed to recognize image sequences but not single sights

Safety of second dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines after first-dose allergic reactions

Changes in disparities in access to care, health after Medicare eligibility

Use of high-risk medications among lonely older adults

65+ and lonely? Don't talk to your doctor about another prescription

Exosome formulation developed to deliver antibodies for choroidal neovascularization therapy

Second COVID-19 mRNA vaccine dose found safe following allergic reactions to first dose

Plant root-associated bacteria preferentially colonize their native host-plant roots

Rare inherited variants in previously unsuspected genes may confer significant risk for autism

International experts call for a unified public health response to NAFLD and NASH epidemic

International collaboration of scientists rewrite the rulebook of flowering plant genetics

Improving air quality reduces dementia risk, multiple studies suggest

Misplaced trust: When trust in science fosters pseudoscience

Two types of blood pressure meds prevent heart events equally, but side effects differ

New statement provides path to include ethnicity, ancestry, race in genomic research

Among effective antihypertensive drugs, less popular choice is slightly safer

Juicy past of favorite Okinawan fruit revealed

Anticipate a resurgence of respiratory viruses in young children

Anxiety, depression, burnout rising as college students prepare to return to campus

Goal-setting and positive parent-child relationships reduce risk of youth vaping

New research identifies cancer types with little survival improvements in adolescents and young adul

Oncotarget: Replication-stress sensitivity in breast cancer cells

Oncotarget: TERT and its binding protein: overexpression of GABPA/B in gliomas

Development of a novel technology to check body temperature with smartphone camera

The mechanics of puncture finally explained

Extreme heat, dry summers main cause of tree death in Colorado's subalpine forests

[Press-News.org] Shedding light on the long and the short of plant growth