Tagged: root



Scientists find critical receptor that allows plant cells to pass stress signals

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is well-known for its role in cells as acting almost like currency for energy storage. Research by Elsa Matthus and colleagues shows that it can also play an important role outside the cell. Along with calcium, it may be how a plant can send stress signals from roots to leaves. The article shows that the DORN1/P2K1 receptor is critical in several calcium-related responses. DORN1 got its name from the finding that it ‘DOes not Respond to Nucleotides(1)’ when it was found that it was a receptor, a structure in the cell membrane, that activated when ATP attached....

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Role of extensin arabinosylation in root defence

Extensins are hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins thought to strengthen the plant cell wall, one of the first barriers against pathogens, through intra- and intermolecular cross-links. The glycan moiety of extensins is believed to confer the correct structural conformation to the glycoprotein, leading to self-assembly within the cell wall that helps limit microbial adherence and invasion. However, this role is not clearly established. Castilleux et al. used Arabidopsis thaliana mutants impaired in extensin arabinosylation to investigate the role of extensin arabinosylation in root–microbe interactions. Mutant and wild-type roots were stimulated to elicit an immune response with flagellin 22 and immunolabelled with a set...

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Hormone-metabolic interactions in adventitious roots

Adventitious roots are roots that form after the plant embryo has grown. They’re the roots that can grow out of stems when you make plant cuttings. Adventitious root formation is a bottleneck for the survival of isolated plant fragments. Adventitious root formation plays an important ecological role and is a critical process in cuttings for the clonal propagation of horticultural and forestry crops. Understanding the regulation of excision-induced adventitious root formation is essential for the sustainable and efficient use of plant genetic resources. Recent studies of plant transcriptomes, proteomes and metabolomes, and the use of mutants and transgenic lines have...

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The suitability of Brachypodium distachyon for the study of ammonium stress in cereals

Most plants acquire nitrogen from the soil in the form of nitrate (NO3−) or ammonium (NH4+). Ammonium-based nutrition is gaining interest because it helps to avoid environmental concerns associated with nitrate fertilisation. The two main issues with nitrate-based fertilisers are the leaching of excess fertiliser into water courses and the formation of nitrous oxide, a powerful greenhouses gas, that contributes to global warming. Ammonium-based fertilisers are useful in mitigating some of these unwanted environmental effects. Unfortunately, plants tend to respond less to ammonium compared to nitrate fertilisation. A recent study by de la Peña et al. and published in AoBP  proposes...

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Root trait phenotyping.

Genome-wide association study reveals genomic regions controlling root and shoot traits at late growth stages in wheat

How much wheat do we need? One prediction is we need production to double between 2005 and 2050. This challenge is more difficult due to abiotic stress with climate change. Long Li and colleagues have been examining root system morphology. Root system morphology is important for sustainable agriculture, but the genetic basis of root traits and their relationship to shoot traits remain to be understood. The aim of this study was to dissect the genetic basis of root traits at late growth stages and its implications on shoot traits in wheat. Deep-rooted accessions had lower canopy temperature (CT) and higher...

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Responses of wheat to increasing shoot P concentrations

The responses of root morphology and phosphorus-mobilizing exudations in wheat to increasing shoot phosphorus concentration

Soil P deficiency is a major constraint to crop yield in many parts of the world and as such the adaptations of root growth and rhizosphere processes for soil phosphorus (P) acquisition have been investigated intensively in wheat (Triticum aestivum). However, only a few studies have paid attention to shoot P status. A recent study by Shen et al. and published in AoBP investigated responses of root morphology and P-mobilizing exudation to increasing shoot P concentration. Root morphological and physiological traits of wheat showed different behaviours to P deficiency. Phosphorus-deficient wheat maintained root growth over shoot growth by preferentially allocating...

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Diagram of fungus types

How fungi oxygenated the Earth

Now that’s an eye-catching headline, isn’t it? The thought of mushrooms and toadstools – that famously don’t produce oxygen, unlike green plants with their oxygenic photosynthesis – adding oxygen to the planet’s atmosphere. What? How? Tell me more… Well, and as you probably suspect, it’s not direct activity of the fungi that generates the oxygen, but the effect that these mycological miracle workers had on photosynthetic plants during the planet’s geological past, via their role as partners in that ancient plant-fungus mutualism known as mycorrhiza. And this story has a vital contribution from phosphorus (P) – that essential plant macronutrient...

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Lateral root primordia expressing GFP-plasma membrane marker UBQ10::YFP-PIP1;4 and RFP-nuclear UBQ10::H2B-RFP marker

TipTracker: automatic tracking of diverse moving objects

We study plant roots by observing their developmental stages, physiological conditions and their cell biology. The advent of fluorescent proteins and the power of confocal microscopy have enabled us to track the developmental processes such as cell division, elongation, differentiation, and changes in vital hormone responses. Rapid processes like gravitropism and phototropism are really difficult to follow precisely. In these instances, it is indispensable to track plant roots over time. So far, adapted microscopic techniques have allowed us to mount the samples in a horizontal position. This however can hinder regular root growth and affect gravitropism. Additionally, a plant root...

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Variation in reproductive timing across Helianthus

Whole-plant organisational traits and ecological strategies in sunflowers

While trait-based plant ecology attempts to use small numbers of organ-level traits to predict ecological strategies, there is a major gap between organ-level ecophysiology and plant fitness in an environmental context. Bridging this gap are whole-plant organisational traits, including reproductive timing and biomass allocation patterns. Mason et al. explore the role of these traits in adaptation to diverse environments, using a phylogenetic comparative approach across wild sunflowers (Helianthus). Whole-plant organisational traits are shown to be just as important as organ-level traits in predicting ecological strategies in sunflowers, demonstrating that trait-based ecology can be strengthened through the explicit inclusion of whole-plant...

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