Newly defined biochemical pathway in plants could mean better biofuel sourcesMarch 9th, 2008 - 1:52 pm ICT by admin
Washington, March 9 (ANI): Researchers from Purdue University in US have defined a new biochemical pathway in plants which could mean better biofuel sources in the future.
According to researchers, the newly defined signaling pathway may provide the scientific tools to design plants that will yield larger quantities of alternative transportation fuels than currently can be produced.
“The pathway moves materials that determine cell shape and size through a system of signaling proteins,” said Dan Szymanski, a plant geneticist and cellular biologist.
By learning more about the growth and development process, it may be possible to engineer plants with improved properties such as cell walls that are more massive or are more easily fermented in the biofuel process.
“We expect that cell wall material will be a major source of biomass from plants designated for biofuel production,” said Szymanski. “We need to learn more about how plant cells control the quality and amount of cell wall material,” he added.
Szymanski and his research team investigated plant growth and cell wall development from several scientific approaches in determining the cascade of events that leads to changes in the cell wall.
They discovered that a protein called “SPIKE1″ directs the protein-signaling pathway. They hypothesize that SPIKE1 may both generate and organize protein complex signaling.
Szymanski and his colleagues were able to demonstrate that one of SPIKE1’s functions is to control production of actin filament, which defines localized cell regions for delivery and recycling of growth materials.
“Plant cells grow by expansion, which is cell wall synthesis coupled with an increase in cell size,” said Szymanski.
“The key questions we need to answer in trying to create plants more valuable for biofuel production center on understanding how plants integrate metabolism, cell growth and biomass production,” he added.
They also need to discover what activates SPIKE1. When the researchers understand enough about the processes involved in plant cell growth and development, then they may be able to design plants that are bigger with more cell wall that can be processed into biofuel.
“Learning more about SPIKE1 likely will help us gain a better understanding of the mechanics and regulation involved with the pathways that control cell architecture and development in plants, and also may be relevant to animal and human growth and development,” said Szymanski. (ANI)
- Gene discovery could lead to healthier food, better biofuel production - Nov 23, 2010
- How plants fight diseases - Mar 29, 2011
- Cuba unveils its first biodiesel plant - Jul 17, 2012
- Potential therapeutic target for breast cancer identified - Apr 06, 2011
- Plant found with built-in drought alarm - Jan 13, 2012
- New pressure-cooking technique converts algae into cheap biofuel - Apr 23, 2010
- Seaweed can be an unlimited source of biofuel - Jul 04, 2011
- New path discovered for colon cancer drug discovery - Nov 20, 2010
- Protein discovery could lead to better autoimmune disease, cancer drugs - Mar 03, 2011
- Protein pathway find may help solve Parkinson's disease - Mar 01, 2011
- Here's what causes the birth of a fat cell - Aug 17, 2010
- Leaves guide plant's battle for sunlight - Apr 16, 2012
- Indian-origin scientist unveils new, efficient technique of biofuel production - Jul 01, 2010
- Scientists develop robotic legs that mimic human gait - Jul 06, 2012
- 'Psychedelic' maize may boost crop and bio-fuel yields - Jun 08, 2010
Tags: alternative transportation fuels, biochemical pathway, biofuel, biomass, cascade, cell shape, cell wall synthesis, cell walls, cellular biologist, filament, growth and development, metabolism, plant cells, plant geneticist, plant growth, proteins, purdue university, scientific tools, szymanski, wall material