Biotech Updates

Developing Cesium Tolerance in Plants

March 11, 2015

A team led by Ryoung Shin from RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science conducted a study which aims to provide a way on how cesium (Cs) uptake can be prevented in plants. Cs is not important in plants, but it is absorbed by the plants under contaminated soils due to its similarity with potassium (K). Cs absorption has caused retardation in plant growth.

In their study, they adopted phytostabilization, a technique where synthetic chemical compounds are used to alter plant responses to the environment. They examined the effects of various synthetic compounds tested in Arabidopsis thaliana as a model plant.

Their findings have led the group in discovering five compounds, termed as CsTolen A to be effective in Cs uptake tolerance in A. thaliana. Furthermore, quantum mechanical modeling shows that CsTolen A is specific in targeting only Cs and did not prevent the K uptake by the plant. This is due to the ability of the compound to prevent the Cs to enter the plant roots.

Read full details of the story at RIKEN website or download the paper published at Scientific Reports