Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Newly identified enzymes help plants sense elevated CO2 and could lead to water-wise crops

December 14, 2009
Biologists have identified plant enzymes that may help to engineer plants that take advantage of elevated carbon dioxide to use water more efficiently. The finding could help to engineer crops that take advantage of rising greenhouse gases.

Plants take in the carbon dioxide they need for photosynthesis through microscopic breathing pores in the surface of leaves. But for each molecule of the gas gained, they lose hundreds of water molecules through these same openings. The pores can tighten to save water when CO2 is abundant, but scientists didn't know how that worked until now.

A team led by Julian Schroeder, professor of biology at the University of California, San Diego, has identified the protein sensors that control the response. Enzymes that react with CO2 cause cells surrounding the opening of the pores to close down they report in the journal Nature Cell Biology online December 13.

The discovery could help to boost the response in plants that do not take full advantage of elevated levels of the gas, Schroeder says. "A lot of plants have a very weak response to CO2. So even though atmospheric CO2 is much higher than it was before the industrial age and is continuing to increase, there are plants that are not capitalizing on that. They're not narrowing their pores, which would allow them to take in CO2, while losing less water," he said. "It could be that with these enzymes, you can improve how efficiently plants use water, while taking in CO2 for photosynthesis. Our data in the lab suggest that the CO2 response can be cranked up."

Plants lose 95 percent of the water they take in to evaporation through these pores, also called stoma. Modifying crops to be more responsive to CO2 could help farmers meet demand for food as competition for water increases. In California, for example, 79 percent of water diverted from streams and rivers or pumped from the ground is used for agriculture according to the California Department of Water Resources.

Schroeder's team identified a pair of proteins that are required for the CO2 response in Arabidopsis, a plant commonly used for genetic analysis. The proteins, enzymes called carbonic anhydrases, split CO2 into bicarbonate and protons. Plants with disabled genes for the enzymes fail to respond to increased CO2 concentrations in the air, losing out on the opportunity to conserve water.

Several types of cells in plant leaves contain carbonic anhydrases, including those responsible for photosynthesis, but Schroeder's team showed that the enzymes work directly within a pair of cells, called guard cells, that control the opening of each breathing pore. By adding normal carbonic anhydrase genes designed to work only in guard cells they were able to restore the CO2-triggered pore-tightening response in mutant plants.

Adding extra copies of the genes to the guard cells actually improved water efficiency, the researchers found. "The guard cells respond to CO2 more vigorously," said Honghong Hu, a post doctoral researcher in Schroeder's lab and co-first author of the report. "For every molecule of CO2 they take in, they lose 44 percent less water."

The action of carbonic anhydrases is specific to changes in CO2, the researchers found. Mutant plants still open their pores in response to blue light, a sign that photosynthesis can begin. And their pores also shut when water is scarce, a response mediated by a plant drought-stress hormone.

Photosynthesis continued normally in the mutants as well, suggesting that altering CO2 sensitivity wouldn't stunt growth - good news if the goal is to engineer drought-resistant crops with robust yields.

But saving water and surviving heat involves a tradeoff for plants: Evaporation of water through the pores also cools the plant, just like sweat cools human beings. If future growing conditions are hotter and drier, as they are predicted to be in some parts of the world, then modifications to the CO2 response will need to be carefully calibrated.

University of California - San Diego


Related Enzymes Current Events and Enzymes News Articles


Precise and programmable biological circuits
A team led by ETH Professor Yaakov Benenson has developed several new components for biological circuits. These components are key building blocks for constructing precisely functioning and programmable bio-computers.

In between red light and blue light: Leipzig researchers discover new functionality of molecular light switches
Diatoms play an important role in water quality and in the global climate.

New study demonstrates advances in creating treatment for common childhood blood cancer
Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center conclude new drug in development may offer first alternative to standard chemotherapy for T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Scientific breakthrough will help design the antibiotics of the future
Scientists have used computer simulations to show how bacteria are able to destroy antibiotics - a breakthrough which will help develop drugs which can effectively tackle infections in the future.

Scripps Research Institute scientists identify trigger for crucial immune system cell
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified the long-sought activating molecules for a rare but crucial subset of immune system cells that help rally other white blood cells to fight infection.

Presence of enzyme may worsen effects of spinal cord injury and impair long-term recovery
Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition with few treatment options. Studies show that damage to the barrier separating blood from the spinal cord can contribute to the neurologic deficits that arise secondary to the initial trauma.

House fly genome reveals expanded immune system
Scientists have sequenced the house fly genome for the first time, revealing robust immune genes, as one might expect from an insect that thrives in pathogen-rich dung piles and garbage heaps.

Atomic map reveals clues to how cholesterol is made
In spite of its dangerous reputation, cholesterol is in fact an essential component of human cells. Manufactured by the cells themselves, it serves to stiffen the cell's membrane, helping to shape the cell and protect it.

Drinking decaf coffee may be good for the liver
Researchers from the National Cancer Institute report that decaffeinated coffee drinking may benefit liver health. Results of the study published in Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, show that higher coffee consumption, regardless of caffeine content, was linked to lower levels of abnormal liver enzymes.

UCLA researchers find that drug used for another disease slows progression of Parkinson's
A new study from UCLA found that a drug being evaluated to treat an entirely different disorder helped slow the progression of Parkinson's disease in mice.
More Enzymes Current Events and Enzymes News Articles

The Enzyme Factor

The Enzyme Factor
by Hiromi Shinya MD (Author)


In The Enzyme Factor, Dr. Hiromi Shinya presents his research, grounded in his 45 years of medical practice in the United States and Japan. This research supports the idea of a miracle enzyme out of which all the enzymes the body needs are produced. He suggests cancer and other diseases occur when this key enzyme is depleted and cannot properly do its job. In this book he clearly shows how what we eat affects that key. Dr. Shinya's science is clearly explained and easy to understand. The suggestions for diet and lifestyle based on this science are simple and easy to follow. Even those who think they know everything about how to eat right will be surprised when they discover what is really healthy.



This simple health regime has led hundreds of his patients, many suffering...

Enzyme Nutrition

Enzyme Nutrition
by Dr. Edward Howell (Author)


Why is eating food in its natural state, unprocessed and unrefined, so vital to the maintenance of good health? What is lacking in our modern diet that makes us so susceptible to degenerative disease? What natural elements in food may play a key role in unlocking the secrets of life extension? These fascinating questions, and many more, are answered in Enzyme Nutrition.
Written by one of America’s pioneering biochemists and nutrition researchers, Dr. Edward Howell, Enzyme Nutrition presents the most vital nutritional discovery since that of vitamins and minerals—food enzymes. Our digestive organs produce some enzymes internally, however food enzymes are necessary for optimal health and must come from uncooked foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, raw sprouted grains,...

Enzymes: The Key to Health, Vol. 1 (The Fundamentals)

Enzymes: The Key to Health, Vol. 1 (The Fundamentals)
by Howard F., Jr. Loomis (Author)


Book annotation not available for this title.
Title: Enzymes
Author: Loomis, Howard F., Jr.
Publisher: Enzyme Formulations Inc
Publication Date: 2005/08/01
Number of Pages: 192
Binding Type: PAPERBACK
Library of Congress: oc2007036246

Enzymes: What the Experts Know

Enzymes: What the Experts Know
by Tom Bohager (Author)


This book throughly describes the role of Enzymes Therapy in restoring, promoting and maintaing optimal health. The topics covered in depth are as follows; Definition of what an Enzyme is, the 4 types, the history of enzyme therapy, animal vs plant-based enzyme therapy, the digestive system, the use of therapeutic enzymes, specific enzymes in therapy, determining enzyme potency, proper pH, the microlflora (bacteria) connection, the immune system, physical fitness, choosing the correct supplement, enzyme deficiency testing, proteases and their effect on probiotics and a discussion of glucoreductase

Enzymes: The Missing Link to Health

Enzymes: The Missing Link to Health
by Susan M. Lark M.D. (Author)


Do you want relief from colds and flus, allergies, autoimmune disease, heart disease and many other major health issues? Would you like to enjoy a high level of energy and vitality and great resistance to disease? Then Enzymes: The Missing Link to Health is a must read book for you. Written by Susan M. Lark, M.D., one of the most renowned women’s alternative medicine experts, this comprehensive guide will help to support and restore your own enzyme production for excellent health. Abundant enzyme production plays a crucial role in protecting and helping us recover from inflammatory diseases, infections, autoimmune conditions, injuries, heart disease and even cancer. It is also essential in helping us recover from accidents, injuries and even surgical and dental procedures. Not only...

The Rejuvenation Enzyme: Reverse Ageing, Revitalize Cells, Restore Vigor

The Rejuvenation Enzyme: Reverse Ageing, Revitalize Cells, Restore Vigor
by Hiromi Shinya (Author)


In Dr. Shinya's groundbreaking book The Enzyme Factor, he introduces his theory of stem enzymes and how they effect health and longevity. In The Rejuvenation Enzyme Dr. Shinya introduces the idea of a new category of enzyme, capable of reversing the damage done in aging by cleaning up senescent or "zombie" cells .

In this ground breaking book learn:
how rejuvenation enzymes destroy zombie cells.
why purple food improves your eyesight and your memory.
all about the "cancer switch."
how cells know what to do.
Also included is a full Rejuvenation Weekend plan for switching on your rejuvenation enzyme and revitalizing your health.

Enzymes: Go With Your Gut: More Practical Guidelines For Digestive Enzymes

Enzymes: Go With Your Gut: More Practical Guidelines For Digestive Enzymes
by Karen DeFelice (Author)


Karen DeFelice follows up her two previous books on the subject of enzymes with her latest release, a look at enzyme therapy which updates the reader on the latest developments in the field and makes the information practical for everyday use.

Enzymes & Enzyme Therapy : How to Jump-Start Your Way to Lifelong Good Health

Enzymes & Enzyme Therapy : How to Jump-Start Your Way to Lifelong Good Health
by Anthony Cichoke (Author), Abram Hoffer MD (Author), Anthony J. Cichoke DC (Author)


Enzymes--living substances that regulate health--work with certain minerals in our bodies to form an antioxidant system that fights corrosive free radicals. This fully updated second edition explains how to make the most of this amazing natural partnership to speed recovery from injury and lessen the effects of back pain, multiple sclerosis, viruses, and fatigue.

Enzymes for Autism and Other Neurological Conditions (Updated Third Edition)

Enzymes for Autism and Other Neurological Conditions (Updated Third Edition)
by Karen DeFelice (Author)


Enzyme therapy is one of the fastest emerging successful alternatives for people on the autism spectrum as well as other neurological conditions. Reports of significant improvement in health, pain reduction, language, food tolerance, socializing and other benefits emerge daily. Drawing on long-standing scientific research and trials by a wide range of families, Karen DeFelice deals comprehensively with all the information on enzymes that parents or those new to enzymes need: how enzymes work, who may benefit, what to expect, practical tested advice on selecting and introducing the right kind of enzymes, and how this can be combined with other approaches and therapies.

© 2014 BrightSurf.com