Protein from Firefly Causing Roots to Glow


Image credit:  Rubén Réllan-Álvarez

Plants form a vast network of below-ground roots that search soil for needed resources. Excavation of root systems reveals special resource-finding environmental adaptations is laborious, time-consuming, and does not provide information on how growing roots behave. A new imaging tool allows researchers to study the dynamic growth of root systems in soil, and to uncover the molecular signalling pathways that control such growth.

A team led by Carnegie’s José Dinneny inserted the gene that produces the protein Luciferase (from the word Lucifer meaning ‘light bearer’), this causes the roots to glow in the dark soil.

“Roots grow through a pathfinding process, somewhat like neurons, and must make decisions regarding which direction to grow and when to branch. This is heavily influenced by soil quality and the location of water and nutrients. Our ability to track gene expression using GLO-Roots is a game changer that will enable an understanding of the molecular events enabling these root decisions,” explained Dinneny.


Story source: Carnegie Institution

Read article here:–+ScienceDaily%29



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