Latest Plant Cell Stories

2013-10-18 13:16:38

Accumulating oil in leaves could significantly increase energy content of biofuels and plant-based foods Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified the key genes required for oil production and accumulation in plant leaves and other vegetative plant tissues. Enhancing expression of these genes resulted in vastly increased oil content in leaves, the most abundant sources of plant biomass—a finding that could have important implications for...

2013-10-14 09:48:27

New research from the University of California, Davis, shows that the tiny proportion of a cell's DNA that is located outside the cell nucleus has a disproportionately large effect on a cell's metabolism. The work, with the model plant Arabidopsis, may have implications for future treatments for inherited diseases in humans. Plant and animal cells carry most of their genes on chromosomes in the nucleus, separated from the rest of the cell. However, they also contain a small number of genes...

2013-04-01 10:26:09

When blessed with a resource in overwhelming abundance it´s generally a good idea to make valuable use of that resource. Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant organic material on Earth. For thousands of years it has been used as animal feed, and for the past two centuries has been a staple of the paper industry. This abundant resource, however, could also supply the sugars needed to produce advanced biofuels that can supplement or replace fossil fuels, providing several key...

Key To Controlling Fruit Ripening Could Be In The Functions Of Chloroplasts
2012-11-01 14:51:47

University of Leicester Biologists may have unearthed the potential to manipulate the functions of chloroplasts, the parts of plant cells responsible for photosynthesis. Researchers in the University of Leicester's Department of Biology discovered that chloroplasts are affected by the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) — a process which causes the breakdown of unwanted proteins in cells, previously thought to only act on central parts of the cell. As a result, the researchers...

2012-07-30 15:40:57

UCLA life scientists, working with colleagues in China, have discovered a new method to quickly assess plants' drought tolerance. The method works for many diverse species growing around the world. The research, published in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution, may revolutionize the ability to survey plant species for their ability to withstand drought, said senior author Lawren Sack, a UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. "This method can be applied rapidly and...

2012-07-25 13:59:34

Dodder vines are parasitic plants that suck water, nutrients and information from other plants as they spread over them. Plant biologists at the University of California, Davis, have now shown that they can make plants resistant to dodder by attacking the junctions where the parasite taps into the host. "We think that this will translate into other parasitic plants," said Neelima Sinha, professor of plant biology at UC Davis, who led the project. The work was published online July 20 by...

2012-05-16 15:58:13

Synthetic photoreceptor stimulates germination and development irrespective of exposure to light; results of researchers from Japan and Karlsruhe are published in the Plant Cell journal Plants are dependent on the sun. Sunlight does not only supply them with energy, but also controls their development steps. So-called photoreceptors activate the processes of germination, leaf development, bud formation, and blossoming in the cells. The light-absorbing component of a photoreceptor may be...

2012-02-06 11:12:10

Plants leaves are sealed with a gas-tight wax layer to prevent water loss. Plants breathe through microscopic pores called stomata (Greek for mouths) on the surfaces of leaves. Over 40% of the carbon dioxide, CO2, in the atmosphere passes through stomata each year, as well a water volume twice that of the whole atmosphere. As the key conduits for CO2 uptake and water evaporation, stomata are critical for both our climate and plant productivity. Thus, not surprisingly, the total number and...

2011-11-22 11:33:19

Implications for biofuels University of Georgia researchers have discovered that two proteins come together in an unexpected way to make a carbohydrate, a chain of sugar molecules, in plant cell walls. This fundamental discovery changes the way scientists think about how plant cell walls are made and opens a new door to converting plants to biofuels and other carbon-based products. In 2006, the UGA research team, led by Debra Mohnen, a faculty member in the UGA Complex Carbohydrate...

2011-11-14 23:07:46

Laser capture microdissection provides an insight into the symbiotic program of root cells Not only mineral oil and petroleum gas, also phosphorous is a scarce resource. According to well-respected scientists who gathered together for a conference in Cambridge this August, we will face significant problems relating to phosphorous deficiency in just 20 years from now. Phosphorous, this important and essential mineral, is part of our DNA and, therefore, irreplaceable. Many soils are already...

Word of the Day
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'