Mutant Series: PIZZA

Sometimes I feel totally guilty of not writing new stuff when several hundred readers are visiting the blog every single day! I've moved from one country to another, then from one state to another. It went like that, Japan (March) → Michigan, USA (June)  → Massachusetts, USA (present). I'm going to start with a less serious, more funny and humorous one – Mutant Series! Thanks for your support and I appreciate your time and feedback to bring this blog so far. 

If you smell food, do you? from the title of the post – I'm not responsible for that as usual. It all started with the Keiko Sugimoto's work on plant hormone, Brassinosteroids (BR). In a standard genetic approach, we usually use loss-of-function mutant to find out the function of that gene (reverse genetics approach) or randomly mutated genes and then find out which is our target gene for certain criteria (forward genetics approach). But, for BR metabolism, it's not obvious to see the growth phenotype under regular growth condition by using loss-of-function mutants. To circumvent this issue, Keiko Sugimoto's group took advantage of Arabidopsis FOX (Full-length cDNA OverXpressor gene) lines to screen BR-deficient growth phenotypes.    

They have found that exogenously providing brassinolide (BL) and castasterone (CS) helps to recover the growth defect. It suggests that endogenous BR level is responsible for the demonstrated growth phenotype. The overexpression of the causal gene demonstrated a dwarf and round-shaped phenotype which resembles the PIZZA shape and they name the gene as PIZZA, in short PIZ

(On the left) Wild-type Arabidopsis plant (Columbia-0), (On the middle) Real Pizza (this pizza doesn't contain Arabidopsis!), (On the right) overexpression of PIZZA (Arabidopsis Pizza) 

They have also shown that the target gene encodes a putative acyltransferase enzyme. Overexpression of PIZ regulates BR metabolism and as well as the plant development in regular growth condition.   

To know the details about their work, find the research article from the link below:

Stay humorous – be the part of great science


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