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


Novel stapled peptide nanoparticle combination prevents RSV infection, study finds
New therapies are needed to prevent and treat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) - a potentially lethal respiratory infection that can severely affect infants, young children and the elderly.

Multitarget TB drug could treat other diseases, evade resistance
A drug under clinical trials to treat tuberculosis could be the basis for a class of broad-spectrum drugs that act against various bacteria, fungal infections and parasites, yet evade resistance, according to a study by University of Illinois chemists and collaborators.

Stanford biologists help solve fungi mysteries
A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate change.

Targeting cancer with a triple threat
Delivering chemotherapy drugs in nanoparticle form could help reduce side effects by targeting the drugs directly to the tumors.

New method to isolate immune cells allows researchers to study how they ward off oral diseases
Case Western Reserve University dental researchers have found a less invasive way to extract single rare immune cells from the mouth to study how the mouth's natural defenses ward off infection and inflammation.

Enzyme 'wrench' could be key to stronger, more effective antibiotics
Builders and factory workers know that getting a job done right requires precision and specialized tools. The same is true when you're building antibiotic compounds at the molecular level.

Virus-fighting genes linked to mutations in cancer
Researchers have found a major piece of genetic evidence that confirms the role of a group of virus-fighting genes in cancer development.

Promising agents burst through 'superbug' defenses to fight antibiotic resistance
In the fight against "superbugs," scientists have discovered a class of agents that can make some of the most notorious strains vulnerable to the same antibiotics that they once handily shrugged off.

Blocking DNA repair mechanisms could improve radiation therapy for brain cancer
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have demonstrated in both cancer cell lines and in mice that blocking critical DNA repair mechanisms could improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy for highly fatal brain tumors called glioblastomas.

Antibiotic resistance enzyme caught in the act
Resistance to an entire class of antibiotics - aminoglycosides -- has the potential to spread to many types of bacteria, according to new biochemistry research.
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)


Dr. Howell is often called the "father of food enzymes". During the '30's and '40's of this century, he did incredible research to prove that food enzymes were an essential nutrient, and that cooking and processing of foods destroy them, thereby creating dramatic changes in our ability to digest food and remain healthy. This is a classic in the field.

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: 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...

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 & 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: The Fountain of Life

Enzymes: The Fountain of Life
by K. Miehlke (Author), R. M. Williams (Author), D. A. Lopez (Author)


FIRST EDITION in ENGLISH,1994 Neville Press, Inc. 5th printing, trade paperback. Enzymes effect our activities throughout our lives from tooth aches and disease immunity to weight gain and whether our kidneys & liver work. Not too technical explanations. Translated from the German.

The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy: A Complete and Up-to-Date Reference to Effective Remedies

The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy: A Complete and Up-to-Date Reference to Effective Remedies
by Anthony J. Cichoke (Author)


The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy gives a clear picture of enzymes -what they are, what they do, and how they can be depleted in the body. It then explains how you can begin an enzyme-rich diet, and when, why, and how enzyme supplements may be taken. Also provided are enzyme treatments for more than 150 conditions.

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.

Everything You Need to Know About Enzymes: A Simple Guide to Using Enzymes to Treat Everything from Digestive Problems and Allergies to Migraines and Arthritis

Everything You Need to Know About Enzymes: A Simple Guide to Using Enzymes to Treat Everything from Digestive Problems and Allergies to Migraines and Arthritis
by Tom Bohager (Author)


We all know that better health doesn't come from one magical, cure-all pill. But what you should know is that it can come from readily available, over-the-counter enzyme supplements. Tom Bohager's Everything You Need to Know About Enzymes offers simple, natural methods for improving your health dramatically without dramatic changes in lifestyle. Bohager's quick course explains how to use enzymes for general god health and to treat specific ailments. As health care costs in the United States soar, more and more people are interested in improving their health through safe, affordable, noninvasive, nonprescription remedies. Enzymes in particular are gaining popularity because of their proven effectiveness and ease of use. For readers interested in improving digestion, strengthening the...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com