The online community and resource center for all in life science related disciplines (BIOSCIENTISTS)
August 03, 2020, 05:13:04 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Over 3000 Nigerian Life scientists are on ground & willing to provide answers to your bioscience & research questions/problems; You only need to post it online Now! (Requires very brief registration)

To be kept up to date on interesting posts in this forum,  LIKE our facebook page!
.
 
   Home   Help Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Plant seeds protect their genetic material against dehydration  (Read 3070 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Francis Umeoguaju
Administrator
Expert in Bioscience Issues
*****
Posts: 657



WWW
« on: January 01, 2012, 06:42:12 am »


Plant seeds represent a special biological system: They remain in a dormant state with a significantly reduced metabolism and are thus able to withstand harsh environmental conditions for extended periods. The water content of maturing seeds is lower than ten percent. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne have now discovered that the genetic material in seeds becomes more compact and the nuclei of the seed cells contract when the seeds begin to mature. The seeds probably protect their genetic material against dehydration in this way.

Plants prepare for changing environmental conditions in the best possible way by developing dormant seeds. Seeds that mature in autumn, for example, have no problem surviving the harsh conditions of winter. And when the seeds encounter more pleasant external conditions in spring, they germinate and reboot their metabolism, which has been running at a low speed. In archaeological excavations, seeds have even been found that had survived for several thousand years and were still able to germinate.

Dry seeds represent a transitional stage between embryonic and seedling stages. During developmental transitions, the genes that control the new state must be activated while the genes for the “old” stage are silenced. The genes in the cell nucleus are surrounded by proteins. This complex – the chromatin – can be tightly or loosely packed. The degree of compactness of the chromatin regulates the activity of the genes: the more “open” the chromatin, the better the genes can be read.

It was not known up to now whether the reduced metabolic activity or low water content of seeds was linked with changes in the chromatin. The research team working with Wim Soppe from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research has now shown in studies on the thale cress that the cell nuclei clearly contract during seed maturation and the chromatin compacts as part of this process. Both processes are reversed during germination. “The size of the nucleus is independent of the state of dormancy of Arabidopsis thaliana seeds,” says Soppe. Instead, the reduction of the nucleus is an active process, the function of which is to increase resistance to dehydration. Again, the condensation of the chromatin arises independently of the changes in the nucleus.

Thanks to the discoveries of the Cologne-based researchers it may be possible to protect other organisms against dehydration, as the mechanisms that regulate the organisation of the chromatin have undergone little or no change over the course of evolution.
Click this link to visit source site>>Feel free to post your comments about this story here. Free and brief registration into our bioscience community is required before you can post your comments.
You can also access other interesting & Recent bioscience stories here.>> Click here, to subscribe for our monthly free enewletters>>
You can also suggest new stories here >>

Share  
Logged

Chances favours the trained minds
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SMFAds for Free Forums
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!