Crop Biotech Update

Research Team Develops Technique that Quickly Identifies Chemicals Affecting Plant Growth

November 3, 2016

Agricultural biotechnologists at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) have developed a screening technique that quickly determines how chemicals affect plant growth. The MIPT researchers and their Russian and German colleagues developed a compound screening technique that relies on pollen and offers an alternative to the conventional seed germination assays, which requires more than a week to complete.

The team used tobacco to test their technique. They tested 1,040 compounds in just two hours, and identified 65 chemicals that either promoted or inhibited the growth of tobacco. The process usually takes weeks, if not months, to finish and obtain the same results. The new technique allows researchers to spot chemical modulators of plant growth and development within very short periods of time.

"This method enables us to rapidly identify completely new molecular targets and mechanisms of plant growth that can be used to selectively slow down the growth of unwanted plants and stimulate the growth of cultivated species," says Sergey Leonov, head of the Laboratory for the Development of Innovative Drugs at MIPT.

For more details, read the news release at the MIPT website.