Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Discover Complex G-protein Network in Plants

April 29, 2011

A research team headed by Dr. Sona Pandey of Donald Plant Science Center discovered the most complex signal proteins in plants that control responses to different environmental signals such as abiotic and biotic stresses. Before this discovery, it was believed that plants only have one slow-acting G-protein, while humans have 23. Dr. Pandey and colleagues identified four using soybean, and realized that these proteins can react quickly than previously assumed.

"The next step will be to try and engineer plants to express altered amounts of these G-proteins to see how they affect their overall growth and can enable them to better respond to stresses that may be involved in limiting crop yield," Pandey said.

The results of this research are published in the recent article, "An elaborate heterotirmeric G-protein family from soybean expands the diversity of G-protein networks," in the New Phytologist.

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