Missouri scientist to improve mineral uptake of plants
This surprised him since nutrients in seeds come through the leaves via the phloem. The phloem is living tissue that transports nutrients throughout a plant.
Less Fertilizer Needed?
Nutrition isn’t the only area that could benefit from knowing what controls the transport of minerals in plants.
A newly engineered plant could be made to use less fertilizer or move particular types of minerals, like toxic heavy metals.
“Many former industrial areas contain fields contaminated with heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic,” Mendoza-Cozatl said. “Understanding genes important to nutrient transport could help both with bioremediation in soil and bio fortification in food.”
Genes identified through this study will lead to new research in the Mendoza lab as well as other labs involved in this large project.
“The mechanism underlying these changes in nutrient seed composition are not known, so we still need to find how these genes are affecting the seed composition,” Mendoza said. “That’s where the advance will be more significant, and we’re not there quite yet.”
A grant from the National Science Foundation funded this research.
Read details about the research in the science journal PLOS ONE.
Source: University of Missouri
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