Some plants stop growing and die after producing fruits, here’s why
Monocarpic plants are plants that die after producing fruits.
When these plants reach certain number of fruits, flower production stops and cells responsible for growth cease dividing.
This process of cessation is called proliferative arrest which ensures that nutrient is available for the formation of seeds.
Proliferative arrest is an agricultural interest because it influences the flowering time scale and fruit production.
The mechanism behind the initiation of the flowering period is well studied.
However, the regulatory pathways and cellular processes that take part in the flowering cessation and triggering proliferative arrest is not well understood.
Researchers identified the molecular and cellular changes associated with cell division and tissue growth in the shoot apical meristem throughout the flowering time period and proliferative arrest.
Shoot apical meristem is the region of a plant that contains multipotent stem cells responsible for the development of plant organs above the ground.
Researchers discovered that before proliferative arrest occurs, cytokinin signaling was suppressed.
Cytokinin is a plant hormone that induces cytokinesis or plant growth.
Additionally, researchers observed that repression of type B cyclins and WUSCHEL is correlated with proliferative arrest.
B cyclins are proteins involved in the process of cell cycle.
WUSCHEL is a master regulator involved in plant growth signaling.
These molecular changes were observed to go along with changes in cell number and size.
A separate analysis revealed that a mutation in FUL does not trigger proliferative arrest.
FUL is the gene associated with controlling flowering time, meristem identity and leaf formation.
The study determined two phases that lead to proliferative arrest: early reduction and late blocking of cytokinin-related events.
Paz Merelo et al. (2021). A cellular analysis of meristem activity at the end of flowering points to cytokinin as a major regulator of proliferative arrest in Arabidopsis, Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.11.069
Where we plant coffee, cashew, and avocado right now may not be suitable in the future
Coffee, cashew, and avocado are among the most important cash crops and possess importance in the economy.
Coffee beans are used in many beverages and drink products.
Cashew seeds are commonly consumed as snack nuts.
Avocados are used as ingredient to many food items.
Coffee, cashew, and avocado are plantation crops with a long lifespan of several decades and their cultivation requires long-term planning.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that the global temperature will be 1.2 to 3.0°C higher by year 2050.
Scientists highlight the importance of evaluating the impact of climate change on the plants biophysical suitability in order to develop adaptation measures and selecting appropriate varieties of crops.
Researchers created model of the current and future suitability of these plants on a global scale based on climate and soil requirement.
They model the year 2050 climate change impact on the crops both globally and in the countries mainly producing the crops.
Researchers discovered that climate factors including long dry season, mean temperatures, low minimum temperatures, and yearly precipitation reduce the suitability of growing these crops more than land and soil factors which include soil pH, texture, and slope steepness.
They predicted that there will be shifts in suitable growing regions due to global warming.
Coffee will be the most susceptible with negative climate impacts highly expected in all main producing regions which include Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia and Colombia.
Areas suitable for cultivating cashew and avocado are expected to expand globally; however, most main producing countries will experience decrease in suitability.
The main cashew-producing countries include Vietnam, India, Côte d’Ivoire and Benin, while the main avocado-producing countries include Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Indonesia.
The study highlights the importance of climate change adaptation in most major producing regions of all the three crops.
Areas with lower temperature such as in high latitudes and altitudes may profit from increasing minimum temperatures.
The study shows the first global evaluation of the impacts of climate change on cashew and avocado suitability.
Plant’s Glowing Properties Produce Stunning Images of Microscopic Structures
Microscopic staining has been used to enhance the visualization of samples at the microscopic level.
Before viewing samples under a microscope, cells and tissues must be stained which requires long preparation processes.
Another way to improve cellular visualization is by utilizing fluorescence tagging.
A fluorescence tag is a molecule that attaches to detect proteins, antibodies, and amino acids.
Many research studies utilize fluorescence microscopy to view plant internal structures.
However, throughput can be hindered by using fluorescent antibodies or labels.
Researchers proposed a minimal protocol that uses existing autofluorescence and aldehyde-induced fluorescence in plant structures to improve throughput in visualization.
Researchers subjected twelve species to five fixative treatments.
The following five fixative treatments are 1% paraformaldehyde and 2% glutaraldehyde, 2% paraformaldehyde, 2% glutaraldehyde, formalin-acid-alcohol, and 70% ethanol.
Researchers used a confocal laser scanning system to collect images seen by a microscope.
Researchers compared fixative influence on plant sample structural preservation and autofluorescence of tissues.
Viridiplantae or green plant samples treated with formaldehyde produced useful structural data without requiring additional histological staining.
Additionally, a microscope capable of fluorescence is the only equipment required for acquiring such images.
The protocol allows for a high-throughput sample processing by obsoleting multiple-day preparations.
Pegg, T. J., Gladish, D. K., and Baker, R. L.. 2021. Algae to angiosperms: Autofluorescence for rapid visualization of plant anatomy among diverse taxa. Applications in Plant Sciences 9( 6): e11437. https://doi.org/10.1002/aps3.11437