Showing posts from March, 2016

Translational Regulation of Ethylene Signaling

Japan Society of Plant Physiologists annual meeting of 2016 was held at Iwate prefecture, Japan hosted by Faculty of Agricuture, Iwate University. Out of 12 symposium, one is dedicated to Ethylene. Clearly, compared to any other phytohormone, much more advancement has been shown in the field of ethylene signaling. Notably, "cleave-and-shuttle" model and translation regulation of EIN2 signaling molecule has improved our idea. This ethylene symposium was entitled as "Ethylene on plant growth and development: from signaling to physiological responses" and organized by Dr. Abidur Rahman (Faculty of Agricuture, Iwate University) and Tomotsugu Koyama (Suntory Foundation of Life Sciences). 

Five invited speakers on this symposium are: Hongwei Guo (College of Life Sciences, Peking University), Tomotsugu Koyama (Suntory Foundation of Life Sciences), Tohru Ariizumi (The University of Tsukuba), Motoyuki Ashikari (Nagoya University) and Yusuke Kamiyoshihara (College of Bioresou…

Ethylene: Nobel Prize Controversy

In the previous post about accidental ethylene discovery history, rather than mentioning it as only hormone, I refered also as pheromone. Because it can be produced by a particular plants and work on the same plant or neighbouring plants also. That means it can work as signaling molecule and we can consider it as pheromone.
Interestingly, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1998 was awarded jointly to Robert F. Furchgott, Louis J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad "for their discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system". With due respect to their discovery, "endogenously produced gas" acts as a "signalling molecule" and has capability to "penetrate the membranes" and "regulates the function of other cells" are totally fulfilled by ethylene, gaseous plant hromone discovered almost more than 60 year ago. 

In 1901, Dimitry Neljubow showed the biological effect of ethylene and in 1934, Richard Gane showed…

Ethylene: Accidental Hormone or Pheromone

It is always fascinating how a small hydrocarbon or 2 carbon containing alkene has huge impact on plants. Yes, you gussed it right. It's Ethylene. First gaseous compound discovered as hormone. It has specific roles in fruit ripening, cell elongation, senescence, seed germination, leaf abscission, defense response and so on.  

According to the definition of hormone, it should have two characteristics. Biosynthesized in a small amount by multi cellular organism and work on a distant place from the synthesis site. This classical definition for hormone was provided by Ernest Starling at 1905. Ethylene fulfills both requirement as a hormone. In addition, it can diffues and affect surrounding plants. We may consider it as pheromone in that case.  

The initial discovery of ethylene is nothing but accidental observation like penicillin. In 1858, George Fahnestock observed that leaking illuminating gas are causing damage to the plants at greenhouse. During that time illuminating gas was used…


Regardless of experimental system, genetical study has made its position on the core of our research. It helps us to identify the function of a specific gene or vice versa. First we may find our desired phenotype and then go for responsible gene, more precisely mutational site. On the other hand, we may mutate one particular gene and observe the corresponding phenotype. As we can see the TWO WAY genetic approaches are open for us. The earlier one is known as Reverse genetics and latter one as Forward genetics. The providing picture will help to understand the basic concept of forward and reverse genetics in a more lucid way.
For reverse genetics, insertion of foreing DNA such as transposable element or T-DNA causes disruption of gene function. Between these two types of insertional mutation, T-DNA is much more preferable compared to transposable element as it's physically and chemically more stable in next several generations. In addition, advancement of Agrobacterium mediated tran…