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Crop Biotech Update

Biosensor Allows Real-Time Monitoring of Auxin in Plants

April 14, 2021
Photo Source: University of Bayreuth
A team of scientists from the University of Bayreuth and Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology has developed the first biosensor to observe the plant hormone, auxin, in real-time.

Auxin is responsible for many biological processes in plants as it functions as a regulator for the plant's response to external stimuli. Because of this, auxin is located in almost all parts of the plants. The biosensor is based on the Escherichia coli tryptophan repressor and is genetically encoded to the plants. It uses light signals to tell where the auxin is located in the plant's cell tissue. The sensor can monitor the concentrations of auxin at a sub-cellular resolution and their spatial and temporal changes during the lifespan of plants by attending to the graded spatial distribution from the roots to the topmost part of the plant.

"It is to be expected that the new biosensor will uncover many more unforeseen insights into the inner workings of plants and their reaction to external stimuli over the coming years," said Prof. Birte Hocker from the University of Bayreuth. "There is already a great deal of interest in the new sensor, and it is to be expected that optimized variants will be developed over the next few years to enable even better analysis of the diverse auxin-regulated processes in plants," added by Prof. Gerd J├╝rgens from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology.

For more details, read the press release in the University of Bayreuth and the article in Nature.

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