Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

New discovery Could Stimulate Plant Growth and Increase Crop Yields

Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Researchers at Durham University have discovered a natural mechanism in plants that could stimulate their growth even under stress and potentially lead to better crop yields.

Plants naturally slow their growth or even stop growing altogether in response to adverse conditions, such as water shortage or high salt content in soil, in order to save energy.

They do this by making proteins that repress the growth of the plant. This process is reversed when plants produce a hormone – called Gibberellin – which breaks down the proteins that repress growth.

Growth repression can be problematic for farmers as crops that suffer from restricted growth produce smaller yields

The research team, led by the Durham Centre for Crop Improvement Technology, and including experts at the University of Nottingham, Rothamsted Research and the University of Warwick, have discovered that plants have the natural ability to regulate their growth independently of Gibberellin, particularly during times of environmental stress.

They found that plants produce a modifier protein, called SUMO that interacts with the growth repressing proteins.

The researchers believe that by modifying the interaction between the modifier protein and the repressor proteins they can remove the brakes from plant growth, leading to higher yields, even when plants are experiencing stress.

The interaction between the proteins can be modified in a number of ways, including by conventional plant breeding methods and by biotechnology techniques.

The research was carried out on Thale Cress, a model for plant research that occurs naturally throughout most of Europe and Central Asia, but the scientists say the mechanism they have found also exists in crops such as barley, corn, rice and wheat.

The research was funded by BBSRC and is published in the journal Developmental Cell. It is the subject of pending patent applications and commercial rights are available from Plant Bioscience Limited, Durham's commercialisation partner for this technology.

Corresponding author Dr Ari Sadanandom, Associate Director of the Durham Centre for Crop Improvement Technology, in Durham University's School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, said the finding could be an important aid in crop production.

Dr Sadanandom said: "What we have found is a molecular mechanism in plants which stabilises the levels of specific proteins that restrict growth in changing environmental conditions.

"This mechanism works independently of the Gibberellin hormone, meaning we can use this new understanding for a novel approach to encourage the plant to grow, even when under stress.

"If you are a farmer in the field then you don't want your wheat to stop growing whenever it is faced with adverse conditions.

"If we can encourage the crops to keep growing, even when faced by adverse conditions, it could give us greater yields and lead to sustainable intensification of food production that we must achieve to meet the demands on the planet's finite resources."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,600+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Matrix Protein Key to Fighting Viruses
A new approach could help scientists intercept one of the viruses that cause respiratory disease and a third of common colds, according to new research from Durham University.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Matrix Protein Key to Fighting Viruses
Durham University researchers are developing methods that show how proteins interact with cell membranes when a virus strikes.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
£3m Investment for Durham Stem Cell Research
STEM cell scientists take a step closer to developing pioneering new therapies with the opening of a £3m trio of laboratories at Durham University.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Scientific News
Platelets are the Pathfinders for Leukocyte Extravasation During Inflammation
Findings from the study could help in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory pathologies.
ASMS 2016: Targeting Mass Spectrometry Tools for the Masses
The expanding application range of MS in life sciences, food, energy, and health sciences research was highlighted at this year's ASMS meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
Benchtop Automation Trends
Gain a better understanding of current interest in and future deployment of benchtop automated systems.
Manufactured Stem Cells to Advance Clinical Research
Clinical-grade cell line will enable development of new therapies and accelerate early-stage clinical research.
Dengue Virus Exposure May Amplify Zika Infection
Researchers at Imperial College London have found that the previous exposure to the dengue virus may increase the potency of Zika infection.
Gender Determination in Forensic Investigations
This study investigated the effectiveness of lip print analysis as a tool in gender determination.
Identifying Novel Types of Forensic Markers in Degraded DNA
Scientists have tried to verify the nucleosome protection hypothesis by discovering STRs within nucleosome core regions, using whole genome sequencing.
Proteins in Blood of Heart Disease Patients May Predict Adverse Events
Nine-protein test shown superior to conventional assessments of risk.
Higher Frequency of Huntington's Disease Mutations Discovered
University of Aberdeen study shows that the gene change that causes Huntington's disease is much more common than previously thought.
Starving Stem Cells May Enable Scientists To Build Better Blood Vessels
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have uncovered how changes in metabolism of human embryonic stem cells help coax them to mature into specific cell types — and may improve their function in engineered organs or tissues.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,600+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!