Nav: Home

Secrets of Bonsai: Uncovering the mechanism of root regeneration

September 13, 2017

The molecular mechanism behind root regeneration after root cutting in plants has been discovered. A finding which could lead to the development of new methods for regulating plant growth in agriculture and horticulture.

A plant's root system is highly regenerative. It plays a critical role in absorbing water and nutrients from the soil and therefore its loss can be an immediate threat to their lives. The plasticity of the root system also helps plants adopt to adverse conditions such as draught. An agricultural technique called root pruning, or root cutting, uses this natural robustness to control plant growth. It has also been used in horticulture to control plant size and vigor as seen in Bonsai.

Previous studies have suggested that root regeneration occurs through the induction of lateral root (LR) formation, and that auxin, a well-studied growth hormone involved in various processes of plant development, plays a role in the process. However, the molecular mechanism behind root regeneration has remained largely unknown.

According to a new study published in Plant and Cell Physiology, scientists have identified for the first time that YUCCA9, one of the eleven YUCCA genes involved in auxin synthesis, plays a primary role in root-system regeneration.

Using Arabidopsis as a model, the research team led by Associate Professor Masaaki Watahiki of Hokkaido University found that root cutting induces both LR formation and the growth of existing roots. Experiments investigating gene expressions and using mutants identified YUCCA9 as the primary gene responsible for auxin biosynthesis during root-system regeneration after root cutting. In collaboration with Professor Masashi Asahina of Teikyo University, the team also found an evident increase in the level of auxin after cutting.

Auxin commonly shows an uneven distribution in plant bodies as a result of polar transportation, leading to gravity- or light-induced bending of the plant. The team found that the polar transport system is required for root regeneration as well.

Interestingly, the team revealed that the defective LRs of some auxin signaling mutants can be recovered by root cutting, suggesting the robustness of the auxin signaling induced by root cutting. They also showed a redundancy of auxin biosynthesis genes by mutant analysis.

"We identified the primary gene of auxin biosynthesis which is responsible for root regeneration upon root damage. This finding could lead to the development of new methods for suppressing or enhancing root regeneration, and thus controlling plant growth in agriculture and horticulture," says Masaaki Watahiki
-end-


Hokkaido University

Related Agriculture Articles:

Urban agriculture only provides small environmental benefits in northeastern US
'Buy local' sounds like a great environmental slogan, epitomized for city dwellers by urban agriculture.
Scientists say agriculture is good for honey bees
Scientists with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture evaluated the impacts of row-crop agriculture, including the traditional use of pesticides, on honey bee health.
Widely accepted vision for agriculture may be inaccurate, misleading
'Food production must double by 2050 to feed the world's growing population.' This truism has been repeated so often in recent years that it has become widely accepted among academics, policymakers and farmers, but now researchers are challenging this assertion and suggesting a new vision for the future of agriculture.
New effort to promote careers in agriculture, natural resources
A new round of grants from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is designed to promote careers in agriculture and natural resource management, and educators with the University of Tennessee Departments of Plant Sciences and Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications (ALEC) are among the grant recipients.
Corn yield modeling towards sustainable agriculture
Researchers use a 16 year field-experiment dataset to show the ability of a model to fine-tune optimal nitrogen fertilizer rates, and identify five ways it can inform nitrogen management guidelines.
Small-scale agriculture threatens the rainforest
An extensive study led by a researcher at Lund University in Sweden has mapped the effects of small farmers on the rain forests of Southeast Asia for the first time.
Space agriculture topic of symposium
New frontiers of soil and plant sciences may grow crops in space.
Measure of age in soil nitrogen could help precision agriculture
What's good for crops is not always good for the environment.
Invasive species could cause billions in damages to agriculture
Invasive insects and pathogens could be a multi-billion- dollar threat to global agriculture and developing countries may be the biggest target, according to a team of international researchers.
Males were saved by agriculture
The emergence of agriculture is suggested to have driven extensive human population growth.

Related Agriculture Reading:

Agriculture: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Paul Brassley (Author), Richard Soffe (Author)

Agriculture, one of the oldest human occupations, is practised all over the world, using techniques ranging from the profoundly traditional to the most scientifically advanced. Without it we would starve. Yet how many of us understand what is happening in the fields that we see as we drive through the countryside? How often do we think about the origins of the food in our trolley?

In this Very Short Introduction Paul Brassley and Richard Soffe explain what farmers do and why they do it. Beginning with the most basic resource, the soil, they show why it is important, and how... View Details


Science in Agriculture: Advanced Methods for Sustainable Farming
by Arden B. Andersen (Author)

By ignoring the truth, ag-chemical enthusiasts are able to claim that pesticides and herbicides are necessary to feed the world. But science points out that low-to-mediocre crop production, weed, disease, and insect pressures are all symptoms of nutritional imbalances and inadequacies in the soil. Science in Agriculture is a concise recap of the main schools of thought that make up eco-agriculture - all clearly explained. Gain a working knowledge of chemistry, physics, and plant biology as applied to agriculture. Discover what weeds are trying to tell you about your soil's fertility needs.... View Details


Agriculture: Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture
by Rudolf Steiner (Author), Catherine E. Creeger (Author)

With this remarkable series of lectures presented in Koberwitz, Silesia, June 7-16, 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded biodynamic agriculture. They contain profound insights into farming, the plant and animal world, the nature of organic chemistry, and the influences of heavenly bodies. This translation from the original German by Catherine E. Creeger and Malcolm Gardner is a fundamental text for many intermediate and advanced students of biodynamic agriculture ― one to which the biodynamic practitioner will refer again and again over the years. In addition to the eight lectures, this version... View Details


Restoration Agriculture
by Mark Shepard (Author)

Around the globe most people get their calories from annual agriculture - plants that grow fast for one season, produce lots of seeds, then die. Every single human society that has relied on annual crops for staple foods has collapsed. Restoration Agriculture explains how we can have all of the benefits of natural, perennial ecosystems and create agricultural systems that imitate nature in form and function while still providing for our food, building, fuel and many other needs - in your own backyard, farm or ranch. This book, based on real-world practices, presents an alternative to... View Details


A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture since 1929
by Paul K. Conkin (Author)

At a time when food is becoming increasingly scarce in many parts of the world and food prices are skyrocketing, no industry is more important than agriculture. Humans have been farming for thousands of years, and yet agriculture has undergone more fundamental changes in the past 80 years than in the previous several centuries. In 1900, 30 million American farmers tilled the soil or tended livestock; today there are fewer than 4.5 million farmers who feed a population four times larger than it was at the beginning of the century. Fifty years ago, the planet could not have sustained a... View Details


The Agriculture Manifesto: Ten Key Drivers that Will Shape Agriculture in the Next Decade
by Robert Saik (Author)

How to Stay Informed About the Future of Agriculture...

Whether you are a farmer who wants to stay connected with consumer trends, an agribusiness person interested in where our industry is headed or a consumer trying to separate hype from truth, I am willing to share what I see out in the field every day. The good news is, I am profoundly optimistic about the ability of agriculture to feed our planet, despite the population growth, because I see what science and technology are doing to improve our food production and because every day I work with dedicated, passionate people... View Details


A History of World Agriculture: From the Neolithic Age to the Current Crisis
by Marcel Mazoyer (Author), Laurence Roudart (Author)

Only once we understand the long history of human efforts to draw sustenance from the land can we grasp the nature of the crisis that faces humankind today, as hundreds of millions of people are faced with famine or flight from the land. From Neolithic times through the earliest civilizations of the ancient Near East, in savannahs, river valleys and the terraces created by the Incas in the Andean mountains, an increasing range of agricultural techniques have developed in response to very different conditions. These developments are recounted in this book, with detailed attention to the... View Details


Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate
by Laura Lengnick (Author)

Climate change presents an unprecedented challenge to the productivity and profitability of agriculture in North America. More variable weather, drought, and flooding create the most obvious damage, but hot summer nights, warmer winters, longer growing seasons, and other environmental changes have more subtle but far-reaching effects on plant and livestock growth and development.

Resilient Agriculture recognizes the critical role that sustainable agriculture will play in the coming decades and beyond. The latest science on climate risk, resilience, and climate change... View Details


Sea Energy Agriculture
by Maynard Murray (Author)

Maynard Murray was a medical doctor who researched the crucial importance of minerals - especially trace elements - to plants and animals. Beginning in 1938 and continuing through the 1950s, Dr. Murray used sea solids - mineral salts remaining after water is evaporated from ocean water - as fertilizer on a variety of vegetables, fruits and grains. His extensive experiments demonstrated repeatedly and conclusively that plants fertilized with sea solids and animals fed sea-solid-fertilized feeds grow stronger and more resistant to disease.

Sea Energy Agriculture recounts Murray's... View Details


The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture
by Wendell Berry (Author)

Since its publication in 1977, The Unsettling of America has been recognized as a classic of American letters. In it, Wendell Berry argues that good farming is a cultural and spiritual discipline. Today’s agribusiness, however, takes farming out of its cultural context and away from families. As a result, we as a nation are more estranged from the land―from the intimate knowledge, love, and care of it.

Sadly, his arguments and observations are more relevant than ever. Although “this book has not had the happy fate of being proved wrong,” Berry writes, there are people... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Attention Please
In an age of constant information and infinite distractions, how can we pay more attention to our ... attention? This hour, TED speakers explore the battle for our awareness during the digital age. Guests include sociologist Zeynep Tufekci, podcast host Manoush Zomorodi, neuroscientist Amishi Jha, designer Tristan Harris, and computer scientist Jaron Lanier.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#475 Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You (Rebroadcast)
This week, we're learning how deadly and delightful our planet and its ecosystem can be. We're joined by biologist Dan Riskin, co-host of Discovery Canada's Daily Planet, to talk about his book "Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You: a Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World." And we'll talk to astronomer and author Phil Plait about Science Getaways, his company that offers educational vacation experiences for science lovers.