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Chemical discoveries germinate disliked species

Infrared image showing increased transpiration (blue) of ANT-treated wheat and tomatoes. Credit: Aditya Vaidya / UCR

Otherwise dormant seeds come back to life with the help of new chemicals discovered by a team led by the University of California, Riverside.


Plants have the ability to perceive drought.When they do, they release hormones that help them hold water..This same hormone, ABA, sends a message to seeds that it is not a good time to germinate and slows down germination. Yield In hot places there is less food and the list gets longer and longer as a result of climate change.

“If you block ABA, Chemical pathway that plant Used to prevent seed Aditya Vaidya, a scientist and research author at the UCR project, said “germination” and “our new chemical, antabactin, is doing exactly this. Applying it will sprout dormant seeds. I showed it. “

Demonstration of the effectiveness of antabactin Minutes of the National Academy of Sciences.

This work is built on the same team Creation Of chemicals that mimic the effects of ABA hormones produced by plants in response to drought stress. Its chemical, opabactin, slows plant growth, saving water and not wilting. It works by inducing the plant to close the small pores in the leaves and stems, preventing water from escaping.

Next, the team wanted to find a molecule that had the opposite effect, opening pores, promoting germination, and promoting plant growth.Breeding has largely eliminated seed dormancy, but there are still some problems. produce Like lettuce.

Sean Cutler, a professor of plant cell biology at UCR and co-author of the study, said accelerating and slowing plant growth is an important tool for farmers. “Our research is to manage both of these needs,” he said.

To find the opposite of opabactin, Vaidya quickly made 4,000 derivatives of it. “He found a needle in a pile of chemical hay. The compound he created blocks receptors for ABA and is very potent,” Cutler said.

In their treatise Team members It has been shown that application of antabactin to barley and tomato seeds promotes germination. Perhaps both antabactin and opabactin can work together to help crops thrive in a drier and hotter world.

If antabactin helps seeds sprout in healthy plants, farmers may begin to save water early in the growing season by spraying opabactin. In this way, enough water is “stored” when the plant begins to bloom.

“Like women need high levels of nutrients during pregnancy, plants need more water and nutrients as they bloom and bear fruit,” Vaidya said. “This is true for most crops, especially economically relevant crops such as corn and wheat.”

The research team continues to investigate ABA-induced changes in seed dormancy in a variety of other plant species. They also want to investigate the use of antabactin. Chemistry A tool for boosting plant growth in greenhouses where water is not restricted.

“We want to identify the major molecular players that dominate seed dormancy and ultimately reduce the effects of unfortunate plantings and reduced yields by the poor. Seed germination“Vadia said.


Game Changer: New chemicals keep plants plump


For more information:
Aditya S. Vaidya et al, click-to-lead design of picomolar ABA receptor antagonist with potent activity in vivo, Minutes of the National Academy of Sciences (2021). DOI: 10.1073 / pnas.2108281118

Quote: Discovery of chemicals was obtained from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-chemical-discovery-reluctant-seeds.html on September 17, 2021 (September 17, 2021) Get seeds that are reluctant to

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Chemical discoveries germinate disliked species

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