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Hijacking Hormones for Plant Growth

Hormones designed in the lab through a technique combining chemistry, biology, and engineering might be used to manipulate plant growth in numerous ways, according to a New Phytologist study.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 12:01 am EDT

Hormones designed in the lab through a technique combining chemistry, biology, and engineering might be used to manipulate plant growth in numerous ways, according to a New Phytologist study.

Scientists harnessed the power of synthetic chemistry to design compounds similar to auxin, a small chemical hormone that controls nearly all aspects of plant growth, development, and behavior.

These compounds might be used for various agricultural purposes, for example for manipulating the ripening of fruit crops or for preventing the undesirable spread of transgenes (genes that have been transferred from one organism to another) in the field.

“It is truly gratifying as a plant biologist that collaboration with synthetic chemists could yield such a game-changing tool. With a new version of auxin and its engineered receptor, we could possibly pinpoint the desired auxin action in target plants or tissues of interest without disrupting the physiology of other plant parts or neighbors,” said lead author Dr. Keiko Torii, of the University of Washington, in Seattle.

Additional Information:

Link to study:  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nph.15337

About Journal:

New Phytologist publishes excellent, novel, rigorous and timely research and scholarship in plant science and its applications. Falling within four sections – Physiology & Development, Environment, Interaction and Evolution – articles cover topics that range from intracellular processes through to global environmental change. Cross-disciplinary approaches are particularly encouraged but for guidance the journal is organized as below. We recognize that techniques from molecular and cell biology, and functional genomics through to modelling and system-based approaches will be applied across the whole spectrum of plant science:

Physiology & Development: intra/inter-cellular signalling, long-distance signalling, physiology, development, eco-devo – phenotypic plasticity, transport, biochemistry.

Environment: global change and Earth system functioning, environmental stress, ecophysiology, plant–soil interactions, heavy metals.

Interaction: plant–biotic interactions (including viruses, prokaryotes, oomycetes, fungi/mycorrhizas, viruses, nematodes and insects), symbionts, endophytes, pathogens, plant microbiome, fungal genomics, multitrophic systems, plant–microbe–soil interactions.

Evolution: molecular evolution, population or quantitative ge- netics, mating systems, phylogenetics, speciation, plant–enemy coevolution, evo–devo.

About Wiley 

Wiley, a global research and learning company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 210 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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