by Staff Writers
Karlsruhe , Germany (SPX) May 21, 2012
Plants are dependent on the sun. Sunlight does not only supply them with energy, but also controls their development steps. So-called photoreceptors activate the processes of germination, leaf development, bud formation, and blossoming in the cells.
The light-absorbing component of a photoreceptor may be replaced by a chemically similar synthetic substance. For the first time, the effects on complete plants are now described in the The Plant Cell journal.
"The plants developed in the dark as if they were in light," says the Director of the studies Tilman Lamparter, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The seeds and seedlings of thale cress were fed with a synthetic substance named "15Ea-phycocyanobilin". In the plant cell, this substance replaces the natural, photoactive component of the photoreceptor, the "phytochromobilin".
Incorporation of 15Ea-PCB activates the photoreceptor and the plant is made believe it is exposed to light. In spite of the darkness, model plants germinate and grow similar to a control group exposed to light. "It was shown for the first time that synthetic substances can cause light effects in entire plants."
Synthetic photoreceptors might be valuable tools for research, as they facilitate studies of many chemical plant processes compared to conventional genetic engineering methods. Apart from growth, photosynthesis can also be investigated much better. "Blossoming of flowers or development of the photosynthesis system may be controlled much better in the future," predicts Lamparter.
"These findings would be of high use for agricultural industry in the cultivation of flowers or biomass production, for instance." In the future, it is planned to study related aspects in further detail.
Publication in The Plant Cell
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Genes underlying the key domestication process in sorghum and other cereals
Manhatten KS (SPX) May 21, 2012
A study by a team of university and government scientists led by a Kansas State University researcher, indicates that genes responsible for seed shattering - the process by which grasses disseminate their seeds - were under parallel selection during sorghum, rice and maize domestication. The study, "Parallel domestication of the Shattering1 genes in cereals," was published May 13 in the on ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|