Crop Biotech Update

Study Finds Molecular Mechanism in Plant Translational Activity

October 28, 2015

Researchers from North Carolina State University (NCSU) show how plants handle at the molecular level, the release of ethylene, an important gaseous stress hormone that regulates plant growth and stimulates fruit ripening process. Plant geneticists Anna Stepanova and Jose Alonso show that ethylene triggers a process that begins, but doesn't complete gene expression, one of the cell's most basic functions.

The researchers show that, when ethylene is perceived, transcription of certain genes that function as circuit breakers of ethylene signaling occurs, but protein production becomes restricted until ethylene is removed.

Their study shows that a key signaling molecule, EIN2, is an essential component in the ethylene-response process. EIN2 protein binds to the messenger RNA of the ethylene circuit breaker EBF2, incapacitating its protein synthesis, and thus allowing for a full activation of plant ethylene responses.

For more details, read the news release and abstract of the paper published in the journal Cell at the NCSU website.