Crop Biotech Update

Breakthrough Finds Plant Nutrient Detector

July 10, 2019

Findings of a study from La Trobe University led by Dr. Ricarda Jost have provided a deeper understanding of the mechanisms whereby plants sense how much and when to take in the essential nutrient, phosphorus, for optimal growth.

The team found a protein called SPX4 senses the nutrient status – the ‘amount of fuel in the tank' of a crop – and alters gene regulation to either switch off or turn on phosphorus acquisition, and to alter growth and flowering time. Dr. Jost said it is the first time that the SPX4 protein was observed to have both negative and positive effect on phosphorus take-up and resulting plant growth. The protein tells the plant when it has taken enough phosphorous, and for the roots to stop taking it up.

For more details, read the news article at La Trobe University website.