Biotech Updates

Membrane-Free Organelles Help Plants Sense Light and Temperature

May 22, 2024

Researchers from University of California Riverside discovered that membrane-free organelles help plants identify shades of light and sense temperature. Future studies may involve controlling where the organelles form to help plants adjust to climate change.

Membrane-bound compartments or organelles have been heavily studied by scientists. However, there is limited research on membrane-free organelles, such as photobodies, which help plants sense light and temperature. Membrane-less organelles are more difficult to study due to molecules constantly moving in and out of them.

A team from UC Riverside increased the size of the membrane-free organelles to analyze their function. “Membrane-less organelles help plants distinguish a whole range of different light intensities. Without them, plants would not be able to ‘see' changes in light intensity,” said Chen, one of the researchers. In another study, the team studied the relationship between the organelles and temperature. They learned that as temperature increases, the number of membrane-less organelles decreases. The results also demonstrated that some of the organelles are temperature-sensitive while others are not.

Read the news article of UC Riverside for more information.

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