Biologists discover an on/off button on plants alarm system

Posted: April 4, 2010 at 8:11 am

Story Summary: Biologists discover an on/off button on plants alarm systemApril 1, 2010 Scientists connected to VIB and Ghent University have discovered how plants turn their defense mechanisms on and off. The discovery offers possibilities for increasing the yield of therapeutic substances from plants. These defense responses require a great deal of the plants energy and reserves, which would otherwise be invested in growth and reproduction. Hormones, such as the jasmonates, are crucial in this process – and the plant produces these hormones when subjected to stress conditions. The presence of the jasmonates sets a complex chain reactionin motion, starting with the degradation of the so-called JAZ proteins. The presence of the JAZ proteins keeps the defense mechanism turned off. Until now, it has been unclear how the JAZ proteins are able to block the MYC2 proteins activity. As long as these proteins appear as a trio, they bind to MYC2 and that protein remains inactive. The moment that the JAZ proteins disappear – as the consequence of stress and the subsequent production of the jasmonates – MYC2 springs into action, triggering the plants defense mechanism. The researchers have worked with Spanish colleagues from the CSIC/University of Madrid and have used a proteomics-based technology developed by Geert De Jaeger (VIB/Ghent University) and Erwin Witters (VITO/University of Antwerp). This technology makes it possible to determine the composition and production of protein complexes in plants. Link between growth and stressIt has previously been known that TPL suppresses the expression of genes controlled by the growth regulator auxin. In fact, they not only influence the regulation of a plants growth but also other hormonally driven processes by interacting with proteins like NINJA. This new insight reveals how stress- and growth-related signaling pathways use the same molecular mechanisms to regulate gene expression in plants and fills a major gap in our understanding of how plant hormones such as jasmonates regulate gene expression. Now that more is known about the regulation of these secondary metabolites, scientists can look for ways to step up their production. html I didnt even realize that human cloning was yet scientifically possible. Structure of Evolutionary Theory, why did he leave this out?Mar 29, 2010 Hi, Ive been leafing through the index of Stephen Jay Goulds book The Structure of Evolutionary Theory on the amazon index feature and he has only mentioned Edward O. Wilson on two pages in the. Researchers writing in BioMed Centrals open access journal Silence have created the first class of reagents to potently and selectively inhibit miRNAs in thi . . ….Read the Full Story

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