Genome Archaeologists Uncover Origin of Plant Hormone AuxinApril 4, 2018
Auxin is present in varying concentrations in plant cells and tissues. The speed of plant growth, especially at the top, development of lateral shoots and roots, leaves, flowers and fruits are set in motion by the hormone auxin. It's still a mystery how all these processes are made possible by this age-old molecule, and how such a complex system came about.
PhD candidate at Wageningen University and Research, Sumanth Mutte, studied the genome of over a thousand plant species. He selected species that are all still alive, but which have a different evolutionary life history. This includes the 'modern' flowering plants that split off 320 million years ago and which now have a highly complex auxin system, older seed plant types such as conifers, and spore plants such as ferns and the earlier mosses, which are over half a billion years old. The oldest form of life studied for auxin were single-cell, green algae, dating back to the deep past of a billion years ago.
Research leader Dolf Weijers said that of the three protein families that mediate auxin functions, one was already present in the green algae. Digging even deeper, a billion years ago, their research led to fragments of the three protein families. "We still find them in the plants of today, but they originate from green algae and probably had a different function at first," Professor Weijers added.
Postdoctoral researcher Hirotaka Kato subsequently conducted 'experimental genome archaeology' with plants from the three different eras: algae, mosses, and ferns. The researcher studied how these genomes respond to auxin, by determining the number of genes that are turned on or off by the hormone, for instance. "This shows us how the auxin system has become more complex, and which components plants can modify to use the hormone for new processes to regulate its growth and shape," explains Professor Weijers.
For more, read the press release from Wageningen.
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. The CBU is distributed for free to over 23,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in agricultural 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
- Agribiotech Can Unlock Business Opportunities in Africa
- High Hopes as Uganda's Biotech Bill Gets 'Second Chance'
- Scientists Publish Additional Soybean Reference Genomes
- Australian Vine Helps Boost Soybean Yield
- CAS Researchers Discover Evidence of the Beginning Rice Cultivation
- USDA FAS-GAIN Reports Agri-biotech Updates in Pakistan
- Genome Archaeologists Uncover Origin of Plant Hormone Auxin
- The Royal Society Report Says UK Public Cautiously Optimistic about Genetic Technologies
- Sugar Transporters in Tea Plants Also Involved in Plant Response to Stresses
- GhPEPC2 Gene Regulates Seed Oil Accumulation in Cotton
- Researchers Find Gene Regulating Plant Growth and Pest Resistance in Rice
Plant Breeding Innovations
- Researchers Study Morphological Impact of ERECTA Genes in Rice Using CRISPR
- Gene Promoter Used to Optimize CRISPR for Targeted Genome Editing in Maize
- Chinese Scientists Perform Gene Replacement in Rice
- US Agriculture Secretary Issues USDA Statement on Plant Breeding Innovation
Beyond Crop Biotech
- Engineering Yeast to Make Non-Narcotic Cough Suppressant
- Animal Scientist Highlights Role of Genetic Modification in Livestock Health, Growth and Well-being
- 2018 IPBO Conference
Read the latest:
- Crop Biotech Update (May 18, 2022)
- Genome Editing Supplement (May 18, 2022)
- Gene Drive Supplement (April 27, 2022)
Subscribe to CBU: