A new role for cytokinin plant hormones

Sep 09, 2011

When plants, including crops, are exposed to environmental stresses such as drought or high salinity, abscisic acid (ABA), a stress-responsive hormone is synthesized to induce a protective response. At the same time, the content of another plant hormone, cytokinin (CK), which is involved in regulation of plant growth, such as promotion of cell division or inhibition of senescence, is reduced. This phenomenon suggests that CK might play an essential role in regulation of plant adaptation to environmental stresses. However, how CK regulates plant response to stresses and how stresses regulate CK metabolism; these questions required answers.

The Signaling Pathway Research Unit discovered that mutual regulation mechanism between CK and ABA affects the plant’s adaptation to stressors. The authors found that the CK-deficient Arabidopsis plants with reduced CK levels exhibited a strong stress-tolerant phenotype that was associated with improved cell membrane integrity and ABA hypersensitivity. Additionally, using Arabidopsis the authors provided evidence that drought and salt stresses reduce the levels of the bioactive CKs by alteration of expression of CK metabolic genes. Taken together, the group suggested that because of the reduction in CK content under drought and salt stresses, the inhibitory effect of the CK regulatory network on the expression of stress-responsive genes is alleviated, leading to enhanced stress tolerance. CK biology, therefore, represents a promising tool for agronomy and can provide multiple biotechnological strategies to maintain agriculture in a sustainable fashion.

These results were published in the June 2011 edition of The Plant Cell.

Explore further: New insights into how different tissues establish their biological and functional identities

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Growing drought-tolerant crops inching forward

Aug 25, 2010

A collaborative team of scientists led by researchers at The Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee, has used the tools of structural biology to understand how a synthetic chemical mimics abscisic acid (ABA), a key stress ...

Recommended for you

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Apr 17, 2014

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Researchers develop new model of cellular movement

(Phys.org) —Cell movement plays an important role in a host of biological functions from embryonic development to repairing wounded tissue. It also enables cancer cells to break free from their sites of ...

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...