November 23, 2011
Blossom End Rot: Transport Protein Identified
Blossom end rot on tomatoes and cucumbers, bitter-pit in apples — these unpleasant blemishes on fruits and vegetables not only compromises the flavor but also causes significant harvest losses every year. The characteristic blotches and spotting can be traced back to insufficient calcium uptake or faulty calcium transport within the plant. Consequently, the damage can occur even if the soil provides sufficient calcium. A team under the leadership of scientists from the University of Zurich and Pohang University of Science and Technology, Korea, has for the first time identified a protein which is responsible for the calcium transport from the root to the shoot. "Without this transport protein, plants exhibit stunted growth," explains Enrico Martinoia, Professor for Molecular Plant Physiology at the University of Zurich.
Calcium uptake through the root epidermis
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