Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Love Potion #AMOR

Love Potion # AMOR
Scientists have succeeded in discovering a sugar chain molecule that increases the fertilization efficiency in plants that they call AMOR which was found to be responsible for activating pollen tubes that lead to fertilization. With this knowledge a group of biologists and chemists have synthesized a disaccharide which exhibits the same properties as AMOR. This discovery is expected to lead to advances in research to improve plant fertilization efficiency as well as carbohydrate chemistry for plants. The above picture illustrates this “love potion” in action. In figure A, pollen grains generated from the stamen pollinate at the tip of the pistil and pollen tubes grow inside the pistil towards the ovule located in the placenta. In figure B, the pollen tubes are guided to the egg cell by attractant molecules (AMOR) that are produced from the synergid cells, which are present in the ovule. Prior to this, the pollen tubes first need to gain their ability to respond to attractant molecules. Fertilization finally occurs by pollen tubes releasing sperm cells to the egg cells.

I find this discovery revolutionary! Imagine how much faster crop development will be if you could ensure fertilization to every functioning plant. Also, increasing carbohydrate chemistry could lead to quicker maturation times and healthier plant function which would mean plants will reach sexual maturity and produce more offspring faster than normal. AMOR could change farming forever with such an increased yield and could lead to breakthrough discoveries in other related scientific fields. If they could find a related sugar chain molecule in humans, fertilization could become easier for those struggling with infertility. Some sort of sperm cell attractant that could help lead more healthy sperm cells to the woman’s eggs. I feel that this discovery will open a lot of doors for fertilization in many ways.

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