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Researchers Identify Drought Resistance Gene in Jatropha
Wednesday, 2013/07/24 | 08:34:46

Scientists from Pennsylvania State University are working on a little known gene from Jatropha called JcPIP1, because a similar gene from Arabidopsis is known to play an important role in drought response. They are also testing JcPIP2, another potential drought response gene in Jatropha identified in 2007 by researchers from Sichuan University.


The JcPIP genes code for aquaporins, membrane channels which are responsible for transporting and balancing water throughout the plant. Researchers found that JcPIP1 and JcPIP2 are expressed at different times during a stressful situation, which shows the roles that they play in response and recovery.


The research team used tobacco mosaic virus to transiently transform Jatropha, creating plants in which JcPIP2 or JcPIP1 was temporarily disabled. Analysis of plant parts during the stress and recovery stages showed that JcPIP2 was mostly active in the early stages of stress while JcPIP1 expression was greater during recovery. The timing indicates that JcPIP1 may be crucial in helping Jatropha recover from damage while JcPIP2 may play a role in prevention.


For more information about this research, read the news article at: http://news.psu.edu/story/281656/2013/07/15/research/drought-response-identified-potential-biofuel-plant.

Figure: Image: © Centre of Excellence for Jatropha Biodiesel Promotion

The Jatropha plant grows green fruits, which later ripen and dry out to form dark pods containing oil-rich seeds.

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