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NEW GENE BIK1 DISCOVERED

A new gene BIK1 has been discovered in plants. This gene is responsible for thwarting Botrytis cinerea, a disease-causing invader that creates a fuzzy gray coating on fruits, flowers and vegetables. The downfall of this gene(which regulates saclicylic acid) is that as it's protecting the plant from Botrytis cinerea, it's made itself susceptible to biotroph, another pathogen that feeds on live plant cells. When researchers have looked at BIK1 mutants which don't have the gene they find that immunity to these two pathogens have decreased, and that BIK1 also affects plant growth and development.

Future research of this gene hopes to increase crop yield and decrease produce loss.

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/517798/

WHY DON'T SOME PLANTS FREEZE OVER WINTER?

We all know that all plants don't die when winter comes around, but all of us don't know why. There are a couple reasons why some plants don't freeze: supercooling, freezing point depression, plant preparation. Supercooling is when a plant can sustain itself without freezing down to -40 degrees F. It's able to do this if there's no nucleating agent present, which is what water molecules group around to form ice crystals. Freezing point depression(FPD) is when plants let water freeze outside of the cells, this usually occurs below -40 degrees F. The problem with FPD is that as it gets colder the plants risk dehydration in their cells because more and more water will be drawn from them in order to freeze outside of the cells. The plant itself also undergoes changes to prepare itself for the cold, including: cell walls strengthening, cell sap becoming more sugary, and the permeability of cells to water is altered.

http://www.masslive.com/metroeastplus/republican/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1138697083249140.xml&coll=1

PLANT-DERIVED DRUG APPROVED

A new drug derived from plant cells grown in secure bioreactors has been approved in the US. It is said to be safer then vaccines produced by conventional methods due to the fact that it produces an immune response but cannot cause an infection, because it is not based on viruses that have been killed. This initial drug is approved for Newcastle disease virus (NDV) in chickens.

http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2006/February/07020602.asp

NEW WAY TO LOOK AT PLANTS

Students from Singapore have created a plant that they say can communicate with people. They have taken a flourescent gene marker from a jellyfish and modified a plant. When the plant is under dehydration stress, it will light up, although it can only be seen with an optical sensor that they have also developed.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,18385419-1702,00.html?from=rss

CARBON-DATING OF OLIVE BRANCH MAY END CONTROVERSY

A massive eruption, which occured on the now-Greek island of Thera, created so much smoke and ash that it extended as far as western North America. Carbon-dating, which is often used on soil and bones, is now being used on a recently-found olive branch, which is the only direct piece of evidence that has ever been found to prove the time period of the explosion. By dating this explosion correctly, some connections that have been slight at best can now be explained much more confidently.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,193443,00.html

CELLULOSE SYNTHESIS MAY HELP BIOFUEL RESEARCH

Cellulose formation has been a mystery before this research. By learning about cellulose, and also microtubules, it may be possible to produce more energy-rich biofuel and improved fiber crops. Cellulose is of much use because it makes up most of the dry weight of most plants, and can be broken down to glucose which makes up ethanol and other biofuels. Through engineering, the scientists produced a plant which created flourescent versions of both cellulose synthase (created cellulose fibers) and tubulin (produces microtubules, which are believed to have an impact of cellulose). They found that microtubules was a "general scaffold" for cell wall organization and that cellulose basically followed these "tracks"

http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2006/april26/cellulose-042606.html

MICROTUBULES MIGHT BE THE KEY….

Scientists in the Nanotechnology Interdisciplinary Research Team have been studying microtubule growth and how they can use this natural occurence to create even smaller electronic objects then we already have at this moment. Deymier, who's leading the research, says that they have already been able to extract the protein elements and genetically modify them to grow any length that is necessary and to be able to attach to metal. Deymier's team have also been able to coat the inside of the microtubules(which are hollow) with copper to conduct electricity. The microtubules act as a natural insulin and helps keep the size down. (microtubules that they've grown are only 25 nanometers wide (nm = 1/1,000,000,000 m)).

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/business/articles/0427biz-innovator0427.html

BRASSINOLIDE VITAL TO PLANTS

Brassinolide can be compared to steroids that are used by athletes. Brassinolide is vital to a plant's response to light, and helps the plant adjust growth to reach light or strengthen stems. Brassinolides bind to a cell surface receptor and inactivates an intracellular enzyme called BIN2. This inactivation then releases another enzyme, BES1, that is already in the nucleus, which binds to DNA to activate growth. Without brassinolide, plants would inevitably all be dwarfs. THis can have great implications for greater crop yield or maintaining plants over cold seasons.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-05/si-ssu050306.php

CARBON DIOXIDE STUDIES

Much is being said about what will happen to plants if the carbon dioxide levels keep increasing. Studies show that, unexpectably, increasing CO2 does not accelerate plant growth. Doubling CO2 can cause stomatal openings to close up to 40%. THis might actually help the plant use water more efficiently. However, a plant has been found with a genetic mutation, the first know, which makes it 'strongly insensitive to increases levels of carbon dioxide', basically it means that increased carbon does not effect the stomatal opening and closings.

http://www.biologynews.net/archives/2006/05/01/ucsd_study_reveals_how_plants_respond_to_elevated_carbon_dioxide.html

CHEAPER FUEL ON THE HORIZON?

While most people think that oil is running out, the fact of the matter is, it's only cheap oil that's running out.  With demand as high as it is, companies are finding it more profitable to move to new locations before using all the oil from the first.  New research has been put into using alternative fuel sources.  Some of these sources are: corn-based ethanol, 'agricultural residues, energy crops such as switch grass, wood chips, forestry residues and even yard waste'.

http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2006/04/11/67980 

Comments»

1. Valintino - March 31, 2007

Hello, Your site is great. Regards, Valintino Guxxi


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