Researchers find crucial clue to manipulating reproduction in plants

Xuemei Chen is actually a distinguished professor inside the Department of Botany as well as Plant Sciences at UC Riverside. Credit: L. Duka.

A team of researchers, led by a plant cell biologist at the University of California, Riverside, has for the 1st time identified a smaller RNA species as well as its target gene which together regulate female germline formation in plants.

“Understanding the mechanisms governing germline formation is actually crucial to our ability to manipulate plant reproduction for the improvement of agriculture,” said Xuemei Chen, a distinguished professor of plant cell as well as molecular biology, who led the research project.

In both plants as well as animals, the germline is actually the lineage of cells which eventually makes the gametes (eggs as well as sperms). In animals, the germline is actually set aside (or “specified”) early on, during embryogenesis, as well as does not go on to give rise to “somatic cells” – cells inside the body which are not reproductive cells. In plants, on the additional hand, the germline is actually not specified early on. the idea is actually produced through somatic cells late in plant development – specifically, in flowers – as well as is actually the first step towards sexual reproduction.

The completely new work not only identifies a regulatory module for an important developmental process, the idea also implies which there is actually likely cell-to-cell communications via RNA or protein in This kind of process.

Study results appear June 5 in Current Biology.

Chen explained which smaller RNAs have been implicated inside the process of germline formation in plants, however until currently the smaller RNA species involved, called “tasiR-ARFs,” was unknown. Chen as well as her team found which the tasiR-ARFs regulate germline formation by repressing its target gene Auxin Response Factor 3 (ARF3).

Chen explained which in mutants which fail to produce certain types of smaller RNAs, more somatic cells become germ cells, suggesting which smaller RNAs prevent the overproduction of germ cells. By isolating more mutants with germline specification defects, the team found which the mutants provided more clues which, eventually, helped the team identify tasiR-ARFs.

The research was done on Arabidopsis, a product plant used widely in plant biology labs. The findings, however, are most likely to be applicable to additional plants because tasiR-ARF is actually highly conserved.

Chen as well as her team did not see a defect in male germline inside the mutants they studied, however, based on the literature inside the field, acknowledge which smaller RNAs do act inside the male germline.

“Quite possibly, inside the case of the male germline, a different smaller RNA species is actually involved,” Chen said.

Explore further:
Conserved role for Ovo protein in reproductive cell development in mice as well as fruit flies

More information:
Current Biology (2017).

Journal reference:
Current Biology

Provided by:
University of California – Riverside

Researchers find crucial clue to manipulating reproduction in plants

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