Oxford University Scientists Discover Oldest Root MeristemJune 8, 2016
Oxford University scientists have discovered the oldest known plant root meristem. The cells of an ancient plant, named Radix carbonica (Latin for 'coal root') were found in a fossilized root tip in the Oxford University Herbaria. This is the first actively growing fossilized root discovered.
The 320 million-year-old stem cells discovered are different to those from today, with a unique pattern of cell division unknown until now. It also reveals that some mechanisms controlling root formation have now become extinct.
These root stem cells are part of a plant growing in the Earth's first tropical wetland forests, with trees over 50 m in height. The evolution of these deep rooting systems from back then increased chemical weathering that pulled CO2 from the atmosphere, leading to the cooling of the Earth and one of the great ice ages.
Professor Liam Dolan of Oxford University said, "These fossils demonstrate how the roots of these ancient plants grew for the first time. It is startling that something so small could have had such a dramatic effect on the Earth's climate."
For more on this study, read the article in Current Biology.
Biotech Updates is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. It is distributed for free to over 22,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in 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
- Researchers Crack Genome that May Lead to Development of Allergen-free Peanuts
- Oxford University Scientists Discover Oldest Root Meristem
- Biologist Finds Way for New Approaches to Fight Plant Disease
- CropLife Reports 20 Years of GM Crop Benefits in Australia
- Plants Remember Previous Stress to Help Protect Themselves
- Silenced Susceptibility Genes in Potato Result in Late Blight Resistance
- Scientists Discover Protein which Boosts Rice Yield by 50 Percent
- Scientists Modify Bt Toxin to Improve Activation in Pea Aphid Gut
- Rol Genes Enhance Production of Antioxidants in Artemisia carvifolia
- NtTTG2 Gene Regulates Tobacco Growth and Seed Production via AUXIN RESPONSIVE FACTOR Genes
Beyond Crop Biotech
- Genomes of Wild Parents Reveal Complex History of Garden Petunias
- Chemists and Biologists Make Bionic Leaf That Produces Alcohol Fuel
- University at Buffalo Researchers Develop Vaccine that Strikes Only When Needed
- Feeding the World in Future: Where Does GM Fit in?
Read the latest:
- Biotech Updates (February 1, 2023)
- Genome Editing Supplement (January 18, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (January 25, 2023)
Subscribe to BU: