Wounded plants: How they coordinate their healing

June 15, 2020

All living organisms suffer injuries. Animals and humans have movable cells, specialized in finding, approaching, and healing wounds. Plant cells, however, are immobile and can't encapsulate the damage. Instead, adjacent cells multiply or grow to fill the injury. In this precision process, each unique cell decides whether it will stretch or divide to fill the wound. Even though scientists study regeneration in plants since the mid-19th century, the cell's 'reasons' for either choice remained unclear.

Now, scientists in the group of Professor Ji?í Friml from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) discovered that the hormone Auxin and pressure guide the plant's way of regenerating.

"It is incredibly fascinating how robust and flexible plant regeneration is, considering how static those organisms are," says Lukas Hoermayer, a leading scientist in this study.

To investigate wound healing, the scientists injured a thale cress root with a laser. They then tracked cells during regeneration with a microscope. The scientists found that the hormone Auxin, which is essential in plant growth and development, also plays a vital role in wound healing. It builds up in those cells directly touching the wound and facilitates the plant's response to injury.

When the scientists artificially changed the Auxin amounts, either no cells or too many cells responded to the wound. This uncoordinated process, sometimes even led to tumorous swelling of the root.

"Only the precise coordination of many cells throughout the whole tissue yields a defined and localized wound response," explains Lukas Hoermayer.

Furthermore, the team recorded a pressure change within the plant, caused by the collapsing cells of the wound. When the scientists reduced the cellular pressure before cutting the plant, the pressure difference vanished, and the regeneration was weakened.

By observing plant regeneration and modifying it with chemical treatments, the scientists identified Auxin concentration and pressure changes as governing processes. Their results advance the understanding of how roots manage to heal wounds and hence survive in sandy soil or the presence of root-attacking herbivores.
-end-


Institute of Science and Technology Austria

Related Wound Healing Articles from Brightsurf:

Wound-healing biomaterials activate immune system for stronger skin
Researchers at Duke University and the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a biomaterial that significantly reduces scar formation after a wound, leading to more effective skin healing.

'What wound did ever heal but by degrees?' delayed wound healing due to gene mutations
Scientists at Fujita Health University, Japan, have discovered how deficiencies of the IL-36Ra protein -- caused by mutations in the IL36RN gene -- delay wound healing via the flooding of the wound with several types of immune cells.

Wound-healing waves
How do cells in our bodies ask for directions? Without any maps to guide them, they still know where to go to heal wounds and renew our bodies.

A new approach to understanding the biology of wound healing
Researchers use discarded wound dressings as a novel and non-invasive way to study the mechanisms that promote healing.

New insights into wound healing
Research from a multidisciplinary team led by Washington University may provide new insights into wound healing, scarring and how cancer spreads

Towards improved wound healing -- Chemical synthesis of a trefoil factor peptide
The family of trefoil factor peptides brings hope to both research and industry to improve the treatment of chronic disorders.

Researchers say genetics may determine wound infection and healing
In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have determined that genetics may play a role in how wounds heal.

Researchers develop microscopy technique for noninvasive evaluation of wound healing
The GSK Center for Optical Molecular Imaging at the University of Illinois' Beckman Institute has designed a new microscopy technique that can be used to study the progression of wound healing.

How tissues harm themselves during wound healing
Researchers from Osaka University discovered that increased expression of Rbm7 in apoptotic tissue cells results in the recruitment of segregated-nucleus-containing atypical monocytes, leading to tissue fibrosis.

Linking wound healing and cancer risk
When our skin is damaged, a whole set of biological processes springs into action to heal the wound.

Read More: Wound Healing News and Wound Healing Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.