skip to primary navigationskip to content
 

Hormone gradients visualised using a new fluorescent biosensor

last modified Oct 05, 2017 05:29 PM
Hormone gradients visualised using a new fluorescent biosensor

Analysis of a gibberellin biosensor expressed in nuclei of an etiolated Arabidopsis seedling

Small amounts of a chemical hormone can reprogram a plant cell and change it’s growth and physiology. Which plant cells produce these chemicals? Where and when do these chemical hormones go? And what genetic programs do they influence once they arrive?

These questions are now easier to answer for one such chemical, the growth hormone gibberellin. A publication from the labs of Alexander Jones, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University and Wolf Frommer, formerly of Carnegie Plant Biology, Stanford describes the invention of a fluorescent biosensor that permits the tracking of gibberellins at the cellular level in living plants. SLCU postdocs Annalisa Rizza and Ankit Walia pursued the first lines of experimentation with the new biosensor, termed Gibberellin Perception Sensor 1 (GPS1) and found that gibberellins accumulate in rapidly elongating cell types of root tips, hypocotyls, and stamen filaments.  Using GPS1 and in vivo imaging of the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the team was able to observe apparent gradients of gibberellin in roots and dark-grown hypocotyls. But how are these spatial gradients set-up and maintained in these growing tissues?

The article, recently published in Nature Plants, highlights that a combination of spatially regulated biosynthesis, transport, and breakdown of gibberellins might act in concert to determine these gradients and that at least of some of these steps are regulated by a class of light responsive transcription factors. The influence of light on gibberellins and therefore growth is a classic example of plants responding to their environments. Examining hormone dynamics and growth at the cellular level during such responses is just one exciting possibility enabled by GPS1. 

RSS Feed Latest news

HFSP funding to investigate cellular growth and stresses in plants

Apr 11, 2018

SLCU's Professor Henrik Jönsson is part of an international collaboration that has received funding from the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) to develop the first integrated model in plants investigating the effects from cellular growth and stresses on nuclear shape and genetic activity.

Research shows first land plants were parasitised by microbes

Apr 03, 2018

Sainsbury Laboratory researchers have found that the relationship between plants and filamentous microbes not only dates back millions of years, but that modern plants have maintained this ancient mechanism to accommodate and respond to microbial invaders.

Rare mineral discovered in plants for first time

Mar 05, 2018

A rare mineral that holds enticing potential as a new material for industrial and medical applications has been discovered on alpine plants through a collaboration between Sainsbury Laboratory and Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

Plants feel the heat

Feb 13, 2018

Sainsbury Laboratory scientists have solved a 79-year-old mystery by discovering how plants vary their response to heat stress depending on the time of day.

Fast-talking plants increase flower production within 24-hours of soil nutrient application

Jan 24, 2018

The molecular mechanisms enabling plants to quickly adapt their rate of flower production in response to changing nutrient levels in soil have been revealed by researchers at the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

View all news

SLCU Logo