Deepening understanding of the brakes on cell division

November 10, 2015

Potential for increased plant biomass

The function of inhibitory proteins controlling plant cell cycle has been elucidated by an international joint team of researchers from RIKEN CSRS, Louisiana State University and other institutes.

The team focused on an Arabidopsis mutant with non-functioning SIM (a member of the SMR family of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors) in which the leaf surface showed abnormal hairs, introducing various kinds of SMRs into the mutant to see if the hairs would return to normal. All mutant plants with the introduced SMR returned to normal regardless of similarity to SIM, suggesting that there is no difference in biochemical function of individual SMR protein and only minor differences in the locations and/or timing of their activities. It was also observed that leaf sizes became larger in plants in which SMR2 (another member of the SMR family) was not functioning.

These results are important to not only understanding the basic mechanisms of plant cell division and differentiation, but also for breeding of plants with increased biomass.


Original article
The Plant Cell doi: 10.1105/tpc.15.00489
N. Kumar, H. Harashima, S. Kalve, J. Bramsiepe, K. Wang, B. L. Sizani, L. L. Bertrand, M. C. Johnson, C. Faulk, R. Dale, L. A. Simmons, M. L. Churchman, K. Sugimoto, N. Kato, M. Dasanayake, G. Beemster, A. Schnittger, J. C. Larkin,
"Functional Conservation in the SIAMESE-RELATED Family of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitors in Land Plants".

Keiko Sugimoto; Team Leader
Hirofumi Harashima; Research Scientist
Cell Function Research Team