HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Putting Down Your Roots: How Plants Know To Do It

Note: Excellent photographs available

The next time you pick up a bag of weed killer from The Home Depot, think about this: a chemical company probably spent years of testing and millions of dollars to develop an effective herbicide that is harmful to weeds but safe for you, your children, and your pets. Now a new study of root growth in a tiny weed called Arabidopsis thaliana suggests that genetics could help scientists save valuable time and money in developing better herbicides for the future.

Scientists at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research report that they have cloned and characterized a plant gene called EIR1 (Ethylene Insensitive Root 1) that plays a critical role in the ability of roots to grow toward the earth in response to gravity. The roots of mutant weeds lacking EIR1 lose their ability to respond to gravity and are unable to grow downward into the soil. The findings are reported in the July 15 issue of Genes and Development by first author Dr. Christian Luschnig and his colleagues Ms. Paula Grisafi, Dr. Roberto Gaxiola, and Dr. Gerald R. Fink, director of the Whitehead Institute.

"These findings provide important new insights into age-old mysteries about root growth, and they also may have tremendous implications for the agricultural and pharmaceutical industries," says Dr. Fink. "Currently, most herbicides are developed by trial and error. Compounds first are tested for their ability to kill weeds, and then later tested--often for years--to ensure their safety in animals. Often the most effective ones turn out, in hindsight, to be the compounds that act against genes present only in plants but not in animals. Our findings suggest that one can design new classes of compounds targeted at plant-specific genes like EIR1 such that they would automatically be harmful to plants but safe for humans."

The Fink lab findings have additional implications for the agricultural industry. The genetic makeup o
'"/>

Contact: Seema Kumar or Eve Nichols
kumar@wi.mit.edu
(617) 258-5183
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
24-Jul-1998


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Putting energy into heart protection
2. Putting GPS to work, researchers shed light on road-following by pigeons
3. Putting genes in a pill
4. Putting microRNAs in their place
5. Putting randomness to work: unique form of nanoscale random motion may drive key cellular functions
6. Putting muscle in the nucleus
7. Putting muscle in the nucleus
8. Putting a price tag on paradise
9. Putting medical research on-line to give patients the information they need
10. Putting Doesnt Pollute, Research Finds
11. Putting A Price Tag On Pollution

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/21/2020)... ... August 19, 2020 , ... ... expo uniting life science, data science, informatics and IT leaders goes VIRTUAL and ... period of uncertainty and change, Bio-IT takes the leadership role of keeping our ...
(Date:8/7/2020)... , ... August 06, 2020 , ... ... participate in the prestigious National STEM Scholar Program, a unique professional development program ... and project support for middle school science teachers nationwide. , Created in partnership ...
(Date:7/22/2020)... ... July 21, 2020 , ... USDM Life Sciences ... compliance, announces a new solution to manage regulated workloads on Microsoft Azure. , ... technology stack complies with FDA and global regulations. USDM's new managed service for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/10/2020)... HONG KONG (PRWEB) , ... July 09, 2020 ... ... chemical compound called 1-phenyl-2-thiourea (PTU) is commonly used to suppress pigment formation in ... years, the PolyU research team led by Dr MA has been using the ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... ... July 06, 2020 , ... Bio-IT World has announced ... Bristol-Myers Squibb, the University of Chicago, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mission: Cure, and the ... awards program, highlighting outstanding examples of how technology innovations and strategic initiatives can ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... Colo. (PRWEB) , ... June ... ... of expert tissue data insights, today announced that the launch of a ... results along with data about the tumor microenvironment (TME). , “Flagship’s TissueInsight ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... to advance photodynamic therapy for treating cancer, today announced the company has entered ... (“Roswell Park”). The agreement provides Lumeda globally exclusive rights to Roswell Park ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: