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Breakthrough Finds Plant Nutrient Detector
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: July 14, 2019 05:06AM

Findings of a study from La Trobe University led by Dr. Ricarda Jost have
provided a deeper understanding of the mechanisms whereby plants sense how
much and when to take in the essential nutrient, phosphorus, for optimal

The team found a protein called SPX4 senses the nutrient status - the
'amount of fuel in the tank' of a crop - and alters gene regulation to
either switch off or turn on phosphorus acquisition, and to alter growth and
flowering time. Dr. Jost said it is the first time that the SPX4 protein was
observed to have both negative and positive effect on phosphorus take-up and
resulting plant growth. The protein tells the plant when it has taken enough
phosphorous, and for the roots to stop taking it up.


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