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Understanding how plant root regenerates

Date: 20 October 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Researchers from  Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Thiruvananthapuram has pointed out that a protein called PLETHORA 2 (PLT 2) is the essential ingredient for primary and lateral root regeneration.

 

Background

Plants are known to regenerate lost tissues or organs throughout their bodies.The new research has identified a protein that helps plant roots regrow its cut tips.

 

Details

  • The researchers studied a road-side plant of the mustard family and noticed that within eight hours of cutting its root tip, a high build-up of certain protein at the site of damage.

  • Using real-time live imaging the team was able to track the behaviour of the protein and found that the protein was distributed in the form of a gradient with the highest concentration in the root tip.

  • The team also noted that the entire plant root was not competent to regenerate and it was confined only to the tip of the root.

  • Using the PLT2 protein, regeneration can be triggered even in non-competent root cells, which have stopped dividing.

  • The protein was found to work only at the right dose and exposure, beyond which its regeneration potential decreased.

Significance

  • Regeneration is of immense importance to agronomically important plant species like carrot, radish or beetroot. This research will help address any growth related issues in these plants.

  • Aerial organs such as leaves and stems often encounter injuries and their quick repair is essential for the survival of plants. These proteins can be used to allow these plants to repair and regrow.