Plant of the Month - June - Arabidopsis
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Why did we pick it?
Arabidopsis thaliana is a small flowering plant that is widely used as a model organism in plant biology. The use of Arabidopsis as a model organism was pioneered by the former Plant Breeding Institute, which was funded by BBSRC's predecessor. Its simple genetics and ability to grow in a lab environment make it easy for researchers to test ideas and make discoveries about plant genetics that can then be applied to plants we use in our everyday lives.
A team of scientists has revealed a new, sustainable way for plants to increase carbon dioxide (CO2) use for photosynthesis while reducing water usage.
Studying the plant Arabidopsis, the engineered plants demonstrated improved growth and biomass production whilst also conserving water.
With the help of the model plant Arabidopsis, a team of BBSRC-funded plant scientists at the University of Cambridge were able to manipulate the levels of the polysaccharide glucomannan in the plant cell wall.
By producing Arabidopsis 'knock out' mutants the team showed that three enzymes within the cellulose synthase-like (CSL) family, CSLA2, CSLA3 and CSLA9, are responsible for the production of all detectable glucomannan in stems.
Read more: https://bbsrc.ukri.org/research/institutes/bsbec/cell-wall-sugars/
Peeling back the layers: scientists use new techniques to uncover hidden secrets of plant stem development
Scientists from the John Innes Centre - a BBSRC-funded institute - have pioneered innovative new cell imaging techniques to shed light on cells hidden deep inside the meristem. Arabidopsis was used in the research.
Read more: https://bbsrc.ukri.org/news/fundamental-bioscience/2016/160922-pr-new-techniques-uncover-hidden-secrets-plant-stem-development/