Hormone Makes Plant Growth Possible in SpaceOctober 24, 2018
Biologists from the University of Zurich (UZH) have discovered that the plant hormone strigolactone could make space farming a possibility. The research group of Lorenzo Borghi of the University of Zurich and Marcel Egli of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts focused on the process of mycorrhiza, a symbiotic association between fungi and plant roots. Through mycorrhiza, the fungal hyphae supply plant roots with additional water, nitrogen, phosphates, and trace elements from the ground. In return, they get access to sugar and fat produced by the plant. This symbiosis is stimulated by hormones of the strigolactone family, which most plants secrete into the soil around their roots.
In space, cultivated plants have to contend with low-nutrient soil and microgravity. To look into the effects of these environmental conditions on plant growth, the researchers cultivated petunias and mycorrhizal fungi under simulated low gravity conditions. Petunias provide a model organism for plants of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), which includes tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants.
The experiments revealed that microgravity hindered the mycorrhization and thus reduced the petunias' uptake of nutrients from the soil. But strigolactone counteracted this negative effect. Plants that secreted high levels of strigolactone and fungi which the researchers had treated with a synthetic strigolactone hormone were able to thrive in the low-nutrient soil despite the microgravity conditions.
For more, read the press release from UZH.
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a non-for-profit organization. The CBU is distributed for free to over 23,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in agricultural biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- Ugandan Farmers' Demand for Biotech Intensifies
- Kenyan President Okays Planting of Bt Cotton
- Ethiopian Government Banking on Agri-biotech to Help Steer Economic Development
- Grass Genes for Breeding Better Crops
- Scientists Review Gene Edited Crop Regulation in the US
- USDA Approves GE Low-Gossypol Cotton
- Enzyme Plays Key Role in Plant Response to Cold
- First GM Crop in Indonesia Soon to be Commercialized
- UK Teen Survey Reveals Attitudes Towards Food and Farming
- Hormone Makes Plant Growth Possible in Space
- Sugar Transporter Genes Contribute in Wheat Grain Weight During Drought
Plant Breeding Innovations
- Cas14: The Newest Addition to the Gene-editing Enzyme Family
- Researchers Present Gene Editing Applications in Horticultural Crops
- CRISPR-Cas9 Used to Retain Function of Mutated Growth Gene in Tomato
From the BICs
- PH Experts Provide Training on Eggplant Germplasm Characterization
- PABIC Collaborates with ICCBS and HEC for Science News Writing Course
- Science and She: Dr. Barbara Mugwanya Zawedde
- Updated Pocket Ks on GM Traits
Subscribe to CBU: