HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
UNC, Penn State scientists find gene that controls water retention in plants

(Embargoed) CHAPEL HILL - Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, working with colleagues at Pennsylvania State University, have identified a gene responsible for controlling water retention and cell division in plants.

Their discoveries, announced in two papers appearing in the June 15 issue of the journal Science, raise the possibility of making crop plants more resistant to drought, a goal agronomists have pursued for decades.

"When I was born in 1957, there were 4 billion people on Earth, and if I die a natural death sometime around 2030, there will be about 10 billion," said Dr. Alan M. Jones, professor of biology at UNC. "That's an enormous increase in just one lifetime. If we are going to be able to feed all these people, we're going to figure out ways of improving and increasing the food supply by nontraditional means. We think this work is an important step toward doing that because researchers should be able to modify this gene to make crops hardier."

Besides Jones, UNC authors of the papers are biology graduate student Hemayet Ullah, research associate Jin-Gui Chen and former UNC postdoctoral fellow Kyung-Hoan Im. Penn State authors are postdoctoral fellow Xi-Qing Wang and Dr. Sarah M. Assmann, professor of biology.

In Chapel Hill, Jones' team, as part of a new multidisciplinary genome sciences initiative, created a mutation in a gene from a common laboratory plant, Arabidopsis, that rendered the gene nonfunctional. Mutant plants wilted more readily than normal plants because they were unable to retain water as well.

The UNC scientists suspected that the gene they targeted encodes a critically important molecule called a G protein that plays a central role in regulating the various signals such as light and hormones that control plant development. Their experiments showed they were right. But because the mutant plants wilted, they thought the gene probably also controlled water retention.

Since Assmann sp
'"/>

Contact: David Williamson
David_Williamson@unc.edu
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
14-Jun-2001


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. New Arizona State center brings science to policy on issues of water resources and urban growth
2. K-State, other universities to study how climate affects plant evolution
3. K-States National Agricultural Biosecurity Center receives $1.3 Million from Department of Defense
4. K-State professor combines love of teaching, research to examine eye development
5. K-State researcher working to improve alternatives to equine antibiotics
6. Lung cancer patients in Japan, United States react differently to the same chemotherapy regimen
7. K-State business researchers to help with major study on food supply veterinary medicine
8. K-State researchers share $1 million grant to study insect pests
9. UC Riverside professor to spend year with US State Department
10. American Lung Associations 2004 State of the Air report ranks cities and counties with dirty air
11. K-State soil carbon sequestration research playing role in climate change efforts

Post Your Comments:
(Date:8/28/2014)... Athens, Ga. The support of peer groups ... effective breastfeeding programs, according to recent University of ... mothers in the Athens-Clarke County area determined that ... the outcomes of mothers of infants. , "Mothers ... be successful at breastfeeding," said study co-author Alex ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... , Aug. 28, 2014  Privacy Advocate and ... Jennifer Lynch , joins the lineup of biometric ... second annual Biometrics UnPlugged Executive Summit in ... Previously announced speakers include Steven Rahman, Director, Technology ... Public Sector at Experian. The theme of this year,s ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced ... of Sports Medicine,s Conference on Integrative Physiology of ... These awards are meant to promote the ... underrepresented groups into the mainstream of the basic ... young scientists at the American College of Sports ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Breastfeeding study shows need for effective peer counseling programs 2Biometrics UnPlugged Welcomes the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Jennifer Lynch to the Mobility at the Crossroads of Commerce and Privacy Summit 2
(Date:8/28/2014)... USA (PRWEB) August 28, 2014 SPIE ... of Physics and Optical Science and Director of the ... of North Carolina at Charlotte, and co-founder and Chairman ... to serve as the 2015 Vice President of SPIE, ... 2014 President Philip Stahl announced recent election results at ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... new research platform uses a laser to ... undergoing stress and heating, an approach likely ... microelectronics and batteries., This new technique, called ... heating and the surface stress of microscale ... discussed the merits of surface-stress influence on ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... 28, 2014  Next month, executives from clinical trial marketing ... events beginning with Patient-Centered Clinical Trials 2014 , to ... Boston , September 4-5. Patient recruitment experts Bonnie ... Fleishman will share insights on the benefits of employing ... tactics – from media to mobile apps – can be ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... Florida State University research team has led to a ... white light, and convert photon energy directly to mechanical ... , Biwu Ma, associate professor in the Department of ... Engineering, created the molecule in a lab about a ... creation has many other unique capabilities. , For example, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Glenn Boreman, UNC Professor and Plasmonics Co-Founder, Elected to SPIE Presidential Chain 2New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits 2New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits 3BBK Worldwide Leads Sessions at Key September Events 2Novel 'butterfly' molecule could build new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices 2
Cached News: