Organiser
Get it on Google Play
Get it on Google Play

Nation Matters

A new study may help make spinach leaf look like lettuce

WebdeskAug 18, 2021, 01:54 PM IST

A new study may help make spinach leaf look like lettuce

                                                                                                                                                                   Umashankar Mishra

 

The new study was conducted to help unscramble the puzzle and has shed light on how `simple’ leaves develop in a plant.  

 

New Delhi: A new study could help introduce innovations in the food industry as it could help change the shape of the salad leaves as one desires.

 

Plants have either `simple’ or `compound’ leaves. A mango tree, for example, is considered to possess `simple’ leaves because they have a single, intact leaf blade. On the other hand, a Gulmohar tree has `compound’ leaves, where the leaf blade is dissected into multiple leaflets. Both types of leaves start out as rod-like structures budding out from the meristem, the tip of the stem where stem cells are present. But they take different shapes as they grow. The question as to how this happens has been a subject of much investigation.

 

The new study was conducted to help unscramble the puzzle. It has shed light on how `simple’ leaves develop in a plant. It has identified two gene families that regulate the development of `simple’ leaves in a plant called Arabidopsis thaliana–a popular model organism in plant biology. These gene families–CIN-TCP and KNOX-II–encode proteins called transcription factors that suppress the formation of new leaflets at the margin, thereby giving rise to `simple’ leaves.

 

The researchers simultaneously suppressed multiple members of the two gene families. This caused the `simple’ leaves to become `super compound’ leaves that gave rise to leaflets indefinitely. However, when they independently suppressed either of the two gene families, the leaves did not turn into compound leaves. This suggests that the genes work in concert.

 

In addition, the mutant leaves continued to stay young and grow for as long as they had the necessary growing conditions. While Arabidopsis leaves typically mature in around 30 days and withers by 60 days, the leaves of these mutant plants with suppressed CIN-TCP and KNOX-II gene families grew for as long as the researchers followed them (175 days)–and could potentially go on for months or years given the necessary conditions.

 

The study was conducted by researchers from the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology (MCB) at the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and their collaborators from Shodhaka Life Sciences, Bengaluru.

“While other scientists have been able to convert compound leaves to simple leaves by manipulating the expression of certain genes, our report is the first one to go the other way around,” Utpal Nath, Associate Professor at MCB and senior author of the paper, said, in an IISc press release.

 

The press release noted that the findings could initiate and nurture innovations in the food industry in the long run. Krishna Reddy Challa, a former Ph.D. student at MCB and co-lead author of the study, said, “One could use this technique to alter the shape of the salad leaves as one chooses or increase their biomass. For instance, you could change the shape of a spinach leaf to look like lettuce.”

 

Monalisha Rath, a Ph.D. student at MCB and another co-lead author of the study, said, “Since the leaves don’t mature once the CIN-TCP and KNOX-II genes are suppressed, you can also control the longevity of the plant and thereby extend its shelf-life”. The study team included A.N. Sharma, A.K. Bajpai, S. Davuluri, and K.K. Acharya. They have published a report on their work in Nature Plants.

 

Courtesy: India Science Wire

Comments

Also read: Taking science to lay public ..

Kanailal Dutt: Hero Of First Revolution

Download Organiser Mobile App:
Mobile App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/de...

Visit Us At:
Website: https://www.organiser.org/

Follow us on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eOrganiser

Koo: https://www.kooapp.com/profile/eOrganiser

Twitter: https://twitter.com/eOrganiser

Telegram: https://t.me/eorganiser

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/organiser_weekly

Background Music Credits: https://www.bensound.com

Also read: DEFENCE SCAN: MULTILATERAL MARITIME EXERCISE MALABAR 2021 – PHASE II ..

Researchers Design White Light Emitters for LED Applications
J-K: Indian Army organises marathon to commemorate 'Swarnim Vijay Varsh' of 1971 Indo-Pak war, 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav'

The ‘Houses’ of Delhi – Princely Embassies in an Imperial Capital

This article is a compilation of tweets posted by Indian diplomat Amit Narang. In a series of tweets, he talks about the history of Delhi’s Baroda House, Patiala House, Bikaner House, Hyderabad House, etc.,  the royal buildings which are now converted to art centres, courts & government offices. In his thread he writes: Visitors to Delhi are familiar with the ubiquitous ‘Houses’ – Hyderabad House, Patiala House etc. But most are unfamiliar with their history. ...

The ‘Houses’ of Delhi – Princely Embassies in an Imperial Capital