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Researchers Identify Mechanism that Protects Plant Fertility from Stress
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: March 08, 2021 11:36AM

Temperatures rise due toglobal warmingand the need to protect crops from
extremely stressful conditions has increased. A University of
Warwick-led consortium has successfully identified two proteins that
protect crops from stress, which is key in safeguarding food production.

Researchers from the School of Life Sciences at the University of
Warwick studied the molecular mechanisms thatmaize
use to safeguard fertility under high temperatures and identified two
Argonaute-like (AGO) proteins that protect the male sex cells. The
researchers subjected maize plants with non-functional AGO proteins to
different growth conditions and discovered that a 5°C increase in
ambient temperature dramatically decreased male fertility.

Using a multidisciplinary approach, the team found that higher
temperatures activated small pieces of ribonucleic acid (or small RNAs)
in wild-type plants, binding to these AGO proteins to control the
activity of stress-activated jumping genes, which are pieces of DNA that
can copy themselves into different parts of the genome. Therefore, these
AGO proteins control the activity of jumping-genes and protect plant

Identified: A mechanism that protects plant fertility from stress

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