ISU researchers untangle the molecular mechanisms connecting plant stress and growth

April 10, 2017
News


Diane Bassham, Justin Walley, Trevor Nolan and Yanhai Yin have worked together to map the molecular components that act as a bridge between plant stress and autophagy. Photo by Hao Jiang.

AMES, IA – Iowa State University researchers for the first time have mapped the various molecular components that govern how environmentally stressed plants interrupt their normal growth pathways by tapping into an important energy recycling function.

The research, published today in the peer-reviewed academic journal Developmental Cell, shows that autophagy, a system by which both plants and animals recycle energy and molecular components, plays a key role in slowing plant growth during times of stress.

Yanhai Yin, a professor of genetics, development and cell biology and a Plant Sciences Institute Faculty Scholar, said plants slow their growth when they experience stress such as drought, a prolonged lack of sunlight or any other low-energy circumstance. But teasing out the genetic interactions that result in slower growth has puzzled scientists for years.

Read the complete news release on the ISU News Service.

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