Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Discover Novel Mechanism Protecting Plants Against Freezing

August 27, 2010

Michigan State University biochemists discovered the mechanism how plants protect themselves from freezing temperatures, a breakthrough which could also lead to finding out the plant's behavior during extreme conditions.

Using Arabidopsis thaliana, Christoph Benning and his team observed a novel mechanism on how a specific gene controls the formation of a lipid that protects the chloroplasts and plant cell membranes from freeze damage. Another biochemistry researcher Eric Moellering investigated further the novel mechanism and found out that there is no single mechanism governing plant freezing tolerance. Some species are better in surviving freezing than the others.

The research also suggests that freezing could possibly influence cell proteins to change the composition of the membrane, without activation or slow acclimation process.

Visit http://news.msu.edu/story/8220/&topic_id=2 for the rest of the story.