Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Heat Stunts Growth in Plants

According to the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, researchers have found that when plants experience stress, there is a pause during the cell cycle. The pause in cell division occurs in both plant and animals cells-mostly to repair DNA. Scientists disrupted the DNA in Arabidopsis cells by infecting the cells with bleomycin. (Bleomycin is a compound used to halt the growth of human cancer cells). It was discovered that Arabidopsis had mutations in their ANAC044 and ANAC085 cells, which acted like bleomycin was never introduced to the cell.

Arabidopsis from eLife

The researcher, Professor Masaaki Umeda stated that he wanted to see how ANAC044 and ANAC085 acted in response to other external stresses. While observing plants under high temperatures, researchers found that there was only a pause in the cell cycle. This means that plants have developed a system for when a plant is under stress, such as experiencing high temperatures; the plant directs its energy to survive, rather than grow. Professor Umeda stated that this research illuminates a new mechanism to optimize organ growth under stressful conditions. While I think that would be an amazing application of these findings, increasing plant longevity and plant productivity are also important.

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