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(Bio) Seeds in 3D

 
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adedios
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Joined: 06 Jul 2005
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Location: Angel C. de Dios

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:20 am    Post subject: (Bio) Seeds in 3D Reply with quote






Researchers watch seeds in 3D and discover an unknown air path

European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
15 September 2006

Researchers from the CNRS, the University J. Fourier (UJF) of Grenoble and the ESRF have recently visualised a plant seed in 3D using synchrotron light. This new view has revealed that there is a network of voids between the cells which may be used for oxygen storage that is needed for efficient germination. It is the first time that a living organism is studied using the holotomography technique at a third generation synchrotron source. The team behind the discovery publishes its results this week in PNAS.

Embryonic photosynthesis leads to the production of seed-internal oxygen that is important for seed development and quality. In order to visualise seed-internal structures that could serve for oxygen storage conventional microscopic methods could not be used because they require the seed to be cut thus leading to air escape. By using holotomography at the ESRF, scientists could get the full picture of an arabidopsis seed without any structural modification.

For the full article:

http://www.esrf.fr/NewsAndEven.....seedsin3D/

*************************************************************

Questions to explore further this topic:

Why is it important to study how plants reproduce?

http://www.growseed.org/repro-paper.html

What are seeds?

http://www.jmu.edu/biology/k12/fruitdev/seed.htm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/.....rev2.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seed

Images of seeds

http://theseedsite.co.uk/seedpods.html
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Seed

Identifying seeds

http://www.ca.uky.edu/agripedia/agmania/seedid/

How are seeds harvested?

http://theseedsite.co.uk/harvesting.html

Sowing seeds

http://theseedsite.co.uk/seedsowing.html

Classroom activity on seeds

http://biology.arizona.edu/sci.....ch_sec.htm
http://www.iit.edu/~smile/chbi0100.htm
http://www.biology.iastate.edu.....noindx.htm

What are gymnosperms?

http://www.biology4kids.com/fi.....sperm.html
http://www.nccpg.com/Default.A.....x?Page=150
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymnosperm
http://science.kennesaw.edu/bi.....gymno2.htm
http://hcs.osu.edu/hort/biology/dgymn.html

What are angiosperms?

http://www.biology4kids.com/fi.....sperm.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angiosperm
http://science.kennesaw.edu/bi.....angio2.htm
http://sftrc.cas.psu.edu/Lesso.....perms.html
http://hcs.osu.edu/hort/biology/dangi.html

Are there plants that do not have seeds?[/color]

http://www.biology.iastate.edu.....oINDX1.htm

What is the structure of seeds?

http://hcs.osu.edu/hort/biology/sseed.html
http://www.seedbiology.de/structure.asp

What is the origin of plant seeds?

http://www.seedbiology.de/evolution.asp

What is seed dispersal?

http://www.mbgnet.net/bioplants/seed.html

How do seeds germinate?

http://theseedsite.co.uk/germination.html
http://www.seedbiology.de/germination.asp

What are seedlings?

http://theseedsite.co.uk/seedlings.html

What is seed dormancy?

http://www.seedbiology.de/dormancy.asp

What is seed technology?

http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~seedbio/
http://www.seedbiology.de/seedtechnology.asp

What are seedless fruits?

http://waynesword.palomar.edu/hybrids1.htm
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/CV006
http://cuke.hort.ncsu.edu/cucu.....dless.html
http://www.madsci.org/posts/ar......Ag.r.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seedless_fruit
http://science.enotes.com/how-.....vegetables

What are auxins?

http://www.biochem.arizona.edu...../auxin.htm

What is seed ecology?

http://www.seedbiology.de/ecology.asp

What is microtopography?

http://www.esrf.fr/UsersAndSci.....ging/ID19/

What is holotomography?

http://www.holotomography.com/

The xray imaging group at European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

http://www.esrf.fr/UsersAndSci.....s/Imaging/

GAMES

http://www.botanical-online.co.....angles.htm
http://www.biology4kids.com/ex.....index.html


Last edited by adedios on Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:42 pm; edited 2 times in total
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adedios
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:05 pm    Post subject: Plant studies reveal how, where seeds store iron Reply with quote

National Science Foundation
2 November 2006

Plant studies reveal how, where seeds store iron


Findings address worldwide iron deficiency and malnutrition
Biologists have learned where and how some plant seeds store iron, a valuable discovery for scientists working to improve the iron content of plants. Their research helps address the worldwide problem of iron deficiency and malnutrition in humans.

The team found that iron is stored in the developing vascular system of the seed of Arabidopsis, a model plant used in research. In particular, iron is stored in the vacuole, a plant cell's central storage site. The researchers also learned this localization depends on a protein called VIT1, known to transport iron into the vacuole.

"Iron deficiency is the most common human nutritional disorder in the world today, afflicting more than 3 billion people worldwide," said Mary Lou Guerinot, a biologist at Dartmouth College in N.H. and the principal investigator on the study. "Most of these people rely on plants for their dietary iron, but plants are not high in iron, and the limited availability of iron in the soil can limit plant growth. Our study suggests that iron storage in the vacuole is a promising, and, before now, largely unexplored target for increasing the iron content of seeds. Such nutrient-rich seeds would benefit both human health and agricultural productivity."

The findings were published online in the Nov. 2, 2006, ScienceExpress, the advance publication site for the journal Science.

The researchers combined traditional mutant analysis (turning on and off the VIT1 protein) with a powerful X-ray imaging technique to create a map of where iron is localized in the seed. Guerinot was surprised by the finding because most studies on iron storage focus on another protein called ferritin.

"This project is a wonderful example of the power of using new combinations of tools--in this case, genetics and high-resolution 3-dimensional X-ray fluorescence imaging--to understand gene function," said Jane Silverthorne, a program director in NSF's Division of Biological Infrastructure, which funded the research. "The discovery that iron localizes in specific parts of a seed opens the possibility of developing seed crops such as grains and beans with increased content of this important nutrient."

The findings reveal how essential it is to look beyond ferritin to understand how iron is stored by plants. The researchers say the stored iron in the vacuole is a key source of iron for developing seedlings. Seedlings that do not express the VIT1 protein grow poorly when iron is limited.

In addition to funding from the National Science Foundation, the study was also supported by the National Institutes of Health. The imaging was carried out at the Department of Energy's National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Other authors of the paper include Sun A Kim and Tracy Punshon, both of Dartmouth, Antonio Lanzirotti of the University of Chicago, Liangtao Li and Jerry Kaplan of the University of Utah School of Medicine, José Alonso with North Carolina State University, and Joseph Ecker with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:57 pm    Post subject: Producing medicines in plant seeds Reply with quote

VIB, Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology
15 January 2007

Producing medicines in plant seeds

Ghent, Belgium -- Using plants to produce useful proteins could be an inexpensive alternative to current medicine production methods. Researchers from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) at Ghent University have succeeded in producing in plant seeds proteins that have a very strong resemblance to antibodies. They have also demonstrated that these antibody variants are just as active as the whole antibodies that occur naturally in humans. By virtue of their particular action, antibodies are very useful for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. From this research, it is now also clear that these kinds of antibody variants can be used in medical applications and that it is possible to produce them in the seeds of plants, which can have enormous advantages over conventional production methods.

Production of biotech medicines

A large number of today's medicines are made with the aid of biotechnology (and this number should only grow in the future). To do this, scientists use genetically modified bacteria, yeasts, or animal cells that are able to produce human proteins. These proteins are then purified and administered as medicines. Examples of such proteins are antibodies, which can be used, for instance, in the treatment of cancer. The conventional methods for producing antibodies work well, but they are expensive and have a limited production capacity. The high costs are primarily due to the need for well-equipped production labs and to the labor-intensive upkeep of the animal cells, which are needed as production units.

Plants: a possible alternative?

For a number of years now, the VIB researchers in Ghent - Bart Van Droogenbroeck, Ann Depicker and Geert De Jaeger- have been searching for ways to have plants produce useful proteins efficiently. Plants do offer a lot of advantages over conventional production methods. Because production with plants doesn't require expensive high-tech laboratories, scientists anticipate that, by working with plants, production costs will be 10 to 100 times lower. Another important advantage is that large-scale production is possible without having to make additional investments in expensive fermentors.

A good yield guaranteed

Several years ago, Geert De Jaeger and his colleagues succeeded in achieving a high yield of an antibody variant in plants, which had been very difficult to do up to that time. The trick the researchers used was to modify the plants in such a way that they would produce the antibody variant in their seeds. With their special technique, the scientists succeeded in producing seeds in which the desired protein is good for more than one third of the total protein amount. This is a huge proportion compared to other systems - normally, scientists succeed in replacing only 1% of the plant's proteins by the desired protein.

Plant seeds are especially attractive as production units. In addition to a high production capacity, they offer other important advantages over other parts of the plant. The seeds can be stored for a long time without losing the produced protein's effectiveness, so that a reserve can always be kept on hand. This means that the proteins can be isolated from the seeds at the moment that they are actually needed. With production in leaves, for example - or with conventional production methods - such lengthy storage is not possible: the protein must be isolated immediately after production. So, production in plant seeds provides the clear advantage of timely processing.

High production of an efficient antibody variant

The antibody variant that has been produced by Geert De Jaeger and his team has a very simple structure and has only one binding place for a particular substance. Bart Van Droogenbroeck and his colleagues, under the direction of Ann Depicker, are now showing that it is also possible to produce more complex antibody variants in large quantities in the seeds of the Arabidopsis plant. Over 10% of the proteins in the seeds of these plants are the desired antibody variant. As is the case with whole antibodies, these more complex antibody variants have two binding places for a specified substance. This close similarity to whole antibodies makes these antibody variants extremely useful for therapeutic and diagnostic applications.

However, the production of proteins in plants is completed in a different way than in humans. Therefore, to be certain that this different completion process does not affect the effectiveness of the potential medicine; the scientists have subjected the action of the antibody variant to an exhaustive battery of tests. These laboratory tests have shown that the antibody variants produced in plants are just as effective as whole human antibodies in protecting animal cells against infection with the Hepatitis A virus.

This is a significant step forward in making protein production in plants a real alternative to current production methods.
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adedios
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:15 am    Post subject: Seeds of the Future Reply with quote

Seeds of the Future
Bryn Nelson

Nov. 7, 2007

On an unusual old farm in New York City, workers are stashing away the seeds of the future.
In this unlikely place, researchers are putting the seeds from flowering plants and trees in a sleeplike state called suspended animation. Many years from now, other workers will rouse the slumbering plant embryos and plant them where they're most needed.

For the full article:

http://www.sciencenewsforkids......ature1.asp
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject: Thousands of Crop Varieties from Four Corners of the World D Reply with quote

Thousands of Crop Varieties from Four Corners of the World Depart for Arctic Seed Vault
Burness Communications

Seeds Contributed by Global Network of Agricultural Research Centers Considered “Crown Jewels” of Crop Diversity

MEXICO CITY (23 January 2008)—At the end of January, more than 200,000 crop varieties from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East—drawn from vast seed collections maintained by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)—will be shipped to a remote island near the Arctic Circle, where they will be stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV), a facility capable of preserving their vitality for thousands of years.


For the full article:

http://www.cgiar.org/news/seed.....lbard.html
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