Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Energy News  


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















FARM NEWS
Transgenic plants' 'die and let live' strategy dramatically increases drought resistance
by Staff Writers
West Lafayette IN (SPX) Feb 02, 2016


Yang Zhao, Purdue University horticultural researcher, found that engineering rice to produce high levels of the protein PYL9 can improve the crop's drought survival rate by 40 percent. Image courtesy Purdue University and Tom Campbell. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Purdue University researchers found that engineering plants to produce high levels of a protein known as PYL9 dramatically boosted drought tolerance in rice and the model plant Arabidopsis. Under severe drought conditions, the transgenic plants triggered the death of their old leaves - a process known as senescence - to conserve resources for seeds and buds, a survival strategy some plant scientists refer to as "die and let live."

The study offers insights into the drought survival mechanisms of plants and presents a possible means of protecting crops from severe drought stress.

"This study shows that controlled senescence is good for plants under drought conditions," said Yang Zhao, first author of the study and research assistant in the Jian-Kang Zhu lab in the Department of Horticulture. "This combination of death and life is similar to a triage strategy. If old leaves die, then the buds and small leaves might gain life."

Because plants can't flee drought, they deploy an array of survival strategies while awaiting better growing conditions. Their drought responses are controlled by a hormone known as abscisic acid (ABA), which regulates growth and development and directs plants' reaction to stress.

Plants' short-term drought responses include closing their stomata - holes that "exhale" water - and creating extra wax to seal moisture within leaves. Long-term drought conditions cause plants to go into dormancy and redirect water and nutritional resources away from leaves to sink tissues such as seeds and buds, reservoirs for new growth. A shriveled, leafless plant might appear dead but is often executing a line of defense.

Zhao and his fellow researchers found that altering plants to overexpress PYL9 made them highly sensitive to ABA. A stress-responsive promoter protein controlled the level of PYL9 expression in the plants.

The gene alterations enabled Arabidopsis and rice to better withstand severe drought stress and caused older leaves to yellow sooner compared with the plants' wild type counterparts.

PYL9 transgenic rice had a 50 percent survival rate after a two-week drought compared with 10 percent survival in wild type rice. Zhao cautioned, however, that the spike in survival rate does not mean that the yield of the transgenic plants under drought conditions would equal that of conventional rice varieties under good growing conditions. The study did not test for yield.

"We still can't really solve the problem of drought," he said. "But we can make it better. In extreme drought conditions, even a bad yield would be better than nothing in terms of preserving human life."

The transgenes did not affect plant growth and development under normal conditions, which suggests that they could be used to improve crop drought tolerance.

"It is challenging to figure out the specific function of individual PYL proteins," said Jian-Kang Zhu, distinguished professor of plant biology and the study's principal investigator. "This study not only illuminates the function of PYL9 in stress-induced leaf senescence but also demonstrates a great potential for using PYL9 to improve plant drought resistance."

Unexpectedly, when transgenic plants were treated with ABA under normal conditions, the old leaves started to wilt, even though the plants received enough water. This suggests that the plants had blocked their old leaves' access to water, preferentially driving water to developing tissues instead.

The research team concluded that during severe drought conditions, hypersensitivity to ABA leads to increased senescence and death of old leaves but protects young tissues by sending them into dormancy. The study also suggests that the ABA core signaling pathway plays a crucial role in plant survival during extreme drought and that senescence is a beneficial drought defense strategy, previously points of contention among plant scientists.

"This common connection finally uncovers the underlying molecular mechanism of drought-and ABA-induced leaf senescence and its association with the ability to survive extreme drought," Zhao said.

The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday (Feb. 1, 2016).

.


Related Links
Purdue University
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
FARM NEWS
Chinese man stole protected seeds from major US firms
Washington (AFP) Jan 27, 2016
A Chinese man pleaded guilty in a US court Wednesday to stealing patent-protected corn seed from agribusiness giants Monsanto and DuPont to take back to China for commercial use. Robert Mo Hailong, 46, participated in a plot to steal inbred corn seeds from the two US companies so that his then-employer, Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group, could use them in its own seed business, the US Depar ... read more


FARM NEWS
NASA awards imaging Instruments contract Polar Follow-On satellite

Russia to launch Resurs-P satellite on March 12

NASA awards infrared instrument for next polar satellite

ESA selects Airbus Defence and Space for two new Sentinel-2 satellites

FARM NEWS
PSLV launches India's 5th navigation satellite

Trimble to provide GPS survey systems for U.S. Marines

SMC releases RFP for GPS III Space Vehicles

GPS vultures swoop down on illegal dumps in Peru

FARM NEWS
Landscape pattern analysis reveals global loss of interior forest

Over-hunting threatens Amazonian forest carbon stocks

New trial opens in Costa Rica environmentalist's murder

NUS study shows the causes of mangrove deforestation in Southeast Asia

FARM NEWS
UCR research advances oil production in yeast

Assessment aims to maximize greenhouse gas reductions from bioenergy

One-stop shop for biofuels

Automakers' green push lifts use of hemp, citrus peel

FARM NEWS
Converting solar energy into electrical power using photo-bioelectrochemical cells

LADWP Board to continue power supply transformation to clean energy

Australia doubles down on large-scale solar with launch of largest power plants

IHS confirms solar wafer supply shortage in 2016

FARM NEWS
Health concerns in wind energy developments

New partners in British offshore wind

OX2 sells 42 MW wind farm to IKEA in Finland

E.ON readies wind farm for English Channel

FARM NEWS
'Miracle' rescue of four China miners after 36 days underground

Coal formation linked to assembly of supercontinent Pangea

Abandon coal, oil or face climate disaster, Davos experts warn

US freezes new coal mine permits in environmental review

FARM NEWS
China jails three 'civil disobedience' activists

Hong Kong press freedoms decline in 2015: report

Heartbreak as historic Hong Kong village demolished

Swedish rights activist held in China returns home




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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 All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.