Over-fertilization of agricultural fields is a substantial environmental downside. Excess phosphorus from fertilized cropland often finds its way into close by rivers and lakes. A resulting boom of aquatic plant development can cause oxygen levels in the water to sink, leading to fish deaths and different harmful effects.
Boyce Thompson Institute(BTI), Researchers have revealed the effect of a pair of plant genes that could help farmers enhance phosphate capture, probably reducing the environmental damages related to fertilization.
The research was published in Nature Plants on September 2.
Maria Harrison’s understanding of the discovery stems from plants’ symbiotic associations and connections with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Maria Harrison is the William H. Crocker Professor at BTI and professor at Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science.
AM fungi establishing and colonize plant roots, creating an interface the place the plant trades fatty acids for phosphate and nitrogen. The fungi additionally might help plants get better from stressful conditions, such as periods of drought. However, feeding the AM fungi with fatty acids is dear, so plants don’t let this colonization go unchecked.
Harrison and a postdoctoral scientist Lena Müller observed and discovered how plants management the quantity of fungal colonization, at genes that encode quick proteins known as CLE peptides within the crops Medicago truncatula and Brachypodium distachyon.
CLE peptides are associated in cellular development and rejoinder to stress, and they’re present everywhere the plant kingdom, from green algae to flowering plants.
The researchers found that two of those CLE genes are critical modulators of AM fungal symbiosis. One gene, known as CLE53, reduces colonization charges once the roots have been colonized. One other gene, CLE33, reduces colonization rates when there is loads of phosphate available to the plant.