Monday, April 22, 2019

Regenerating Plants and World Hunger

At Tokyo University, Professor Sachihiro Matsunaga and his team of researchers may have determined how to regenerate plant tissue. The idea comes from trying to revert cells from their specialized state known as unipotent cells back to what’s known as pluripotency (think stem cells). The team at Tokyo University tried to reverse these unipotent cells in the plant Arabidpsis thaliana. They modified histone proteins throughout the entire genome and came to the conclusion that once histone is demethylated, this allows for plants to be regenerative.  These histone modifications aimed to demethylate histone H3 by the enzyme LDL3.
Image result for arabidopsis thaliana

According to a separate article on plant regeneration, it’s also possible for plants regenerative capabilities to speeded up as well by supplying hormones. Is it then possible to combine both of these techniques to be able to constantly have plants regenerate tissue? If so, this could open up a ton of possibilities to increase our food supply and hopefully come closer to ending world hunger.

1 comment:

  1. The last bit of your post on the implications this finding could have on meeting the world's growing food demands was really interesting to me. I have heard of a similar concept with a type of jellyfish which can revert back to its sexually immature stage, therefore allowing it to mature, reproduce and then repeat. This essentially allows this jellyfish to live forever, and I think if plants could do something even remotely similar through advanced regeneration capabilities, a lot of time, money and effort could potentially be saved in the agriculture industry.