Loss of shoots, then roots start photosynthesis?

Elucidating how plants develop chloroplasts in non-photosynthetic organ against environmental changes

A University of Tokyo–RIKEN CSRS joint research group has found that removing the shoot (leaves and stems) from the model plant Arabidopsis activates photosynthesis ability in root via increasing of cytokinin response which is triggered by wound-inducible transcription factors. The group also investigated that this response critically depends on transcription factors related to chloroplast development. Energy sources of roots are normally supplied by photosynthesis in shoots, but when after loss of shoots, roots start to develop chloroplasts as well as new tissues/organs to survive and grow.

This research contributes to unveil the mechanisms for plant adaptation to loss of photosynthetic organ, where plants try to maintain and expand their energy productivity by photosynthesis.


Original article
Plant Physiology  doi:10.1104/pp.16.01368
K. Kobayashi, A. Ohnishi, D. Sasaki, S. Fujii, A. Iwase, K. Sugimoto, T. Masuda, H. Wada,
"Shoot removal induces chloroplast development in Arabidopsis roots via cytokinin

Akira Iwase; Research Scientist
Keiko Sugimoto; Team Leader
Cell Function Research Team