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Nov 16, 2010

Carnegie - 1st Detailed Action Map for a Plant Hormone

On 15 November 2010, the Carnegie Institution for Science announced the pending publication of a detailed map that explained how brassinosteriods (plant hormones) regulate plant growth and development. Carnegie researchers Yu Sun and Zhi-Yong Wang at Carnegie's Department of Plant Biology published their findings in the 16 November 2010 issue of Developmental Cells.

The scientists provide the first comprehensive map for how "about a thousand brassinosteroid target genes, which reveal molecular links between the steroid and numerous cellular functions and other hormonal and light-activated chain reactions."

In plants, each cell must generate hormones for growth and development.  The scientists used the Arabidopsis plant to "identified DNA sequences in the genome where a transcription factor resides—that is a protein that begins the process of turning a gene on or off. In this case, a protein called BZR1 is the major transcription factor responsible for bassinosteroid-regulated gene expression. It acts at the end of a chain reaction triggered by a steroid binding to the receptor called Brassinosteroid Insensitive 1 (BRI1) at the cell membrane. We were very surprised by the large number of genes involved. Arabidopsis has about 32,000 genes in total and this hormone appears to be masterminding a lot of different physiological responses."

For more see: "Mastermind Steroid Found in Plants," Carnegie Institution for Science, 15 November 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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