bokchoy100Engineering of plant systems

The University of Cambridge has a long history as a centre for study of the natural history and function of plant systems. New initiatives continue to promote these activities in Cambridge. Interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the genetic and biophysical basis of morphogenesis are providing opportunities for rational design and engineering of new plant forms. The pages in this section provide links to recent research and web-based resources.

www.synbio.org.uk

Identification of molecular processes needed for vascular formation through transcriptome analysis of different vascular systems.

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Identification of molecular processes needed for vascular formation through transcriptome analysis of different vascular systems.

BMC Genomics. 2013;14:217

Authors: Xu P, Kong Y, Li X, Li L

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Vascular system formation has been studied through molecular and genetic approaches in Arabidopsis, a herbaceous dicot that is used as a model system. Different vascular systems have developed in other plants such as crops and trees. Uncovering shared mechanisms underlying vascular development by transcriptome analysis of different vascular systems may help to transfer knowledge acquired from Arabidopsis to other economically important species.
RESULTS: Conserved vascular genes and biological processes fundamental to vascular development were explored across various plants. Through comparative transcriptome analysis, 226 genes from Arabidopsis, 217 genes from poplar and 281 genes from rice were identified as constituting 107 conserved vascular gene groups. These gene groups are expressed mainly in vascular tissues and form a complex coexpression network with multiple functional connections. To date, only half of the groups have been experimentally investigated. The conserved vascular gene groups were classified into 9 essential processes for vascular development. 18 groups (17%) lack of annotations were classified as having unknown functions.
CONCLUSION: The study provides a map of fundamental biological processes conserved across different vascular systems. It identifies gaps in the experimental investigation of pathways active in vascular formation, which if explored, could lead to a more complete understanding of vascular development.

PMID: 23548001 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Plant development. Integration of growth and patterning during vascular tissue formation in Arabidopsis.

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Plant development. Integration of growth and patterning during vascular tissue formation in Arabidopsis.

Science. 2014 Aug 8;345(6197):1255215

Authors: De Rybel B, Adibi M, Breda AS, Wendrich JR, Smit ME, Novák O, Yamaguchi N, Yoshida S, Van Isterdael G, Palovaara J, Nijsse B, Boekschoten MV, Hooiveld G, Beeckman T, Wagner D, Ljung K, Fleck C, Weijers D

Abstract
Coordination of cell division and pattern formation is central to tissue and organ development, particularly in plants where walls prevent cell migration. Auxin and cytokinin are both critical for division and patterning, but it is unknown how these hormones converge upon tissue development. We identify a genetic network that reinforces an early embryonic bias in auxin distribution to create a local, nonresponding cytokinin source within the root vascular tissue. Experimental and theoretical evidence shows that these cells act as a tissue organizer by positioning the domain of oriented cell divisions. We further demonstrate that the auxin-cytokinin interaction acts as a spatial incoherent feed-forward loop, which is essential to generate distinct hormonal response zones, thus establishing a stable pattern within a growing vascular tissue.

PMID: 25104393 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

U-ING Green Farm Cube Hydroponic Grow Box

"U-ING Green Farm Cube Hydroponic Grow BoxWith the U-ING Green Farm Cube Hydroponic Grow Box you can cultivate herbs, lecture and other vegetables in your home so you always have fresh greenery for your salads and meals. The sophisticated timer means the white LED lamp gradually darkens and switches to nightlight as the time to turn off draws closer. The nightlight then turns off after 30 minutes.

Not only does this work well for your crops, it makes for a beautiful illumination in your home too. A water level measurer also tells you when you need to add water to the farm, so you never over- or under-water your plants.

The U-ING Green Farm Cube Hydroponic Grow Box is distinct in its clean and minimal style (coming in three smart colors), and excellent functionality, controlled by a simple four-button panel.

The unit separates easily so you can maintain your garden and each plant can be placed in one of the nine holes in the tray, allowing you to pick up and examine each one.

The U-ING Green Farm Cube Hydroponic Grow Box features:

Color: white, red, green Volume: around 2L Size: 225 x 225 x 285.5mm (8.9 x 8.9 x 11.2') Weight: around 2kg (4.4 lbs), 4kg (8.8 lbs) (when full) Power: DC24V 1A, 17W Internal temperature: 15-30°C (59-86°F) Timer, LED and nightlight Instructions: Japanese



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A Plant that Survives by Stealing Genetic Material

A Plant that Survives by Stealing Genetic Material

Beneath our feet, plants are locked in a slow-motion struggle for the elements necessary for survival: water, sunlight, and nutrition. But some plants have learned to game the system, stealing water and nutrients from their neighbors. Some of these parasites even steal genetic material.

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www.marchantia.org

Online resources, including bibliography, weblinks and posters, for work with the simple plant system, Marchantia polymorpha.