Functions that MUNC13-like Protein Plays in Plants

July 31, 2013

Controlling of plant growth by stomata engineering

RIKEN CSRS and Kyushu University Faculty of Sciences have discovered PATROL1 protein that has structural similarity to MUNC-13 protein, crucial components in neurotransmitter release in animals. The discovery came as a coincidence, when the researchers were analyzing the model plant Arabidopsis gene mutant that impairs the plant to detect CO2 in the air. While plants lack neurotransmitters seen in animals, this protein turns out to be crucial for plants in environment adaptability as well as playing an important function in biomass production.

The research group continued with their study on PATROL1 and they have discovered PATROL1-overexpressing plants showed increased stomatal opening responses under various environmental conditions such as high CO2, dark or dry settings. Their findings suggest that increases in biomass production in various crops and trees may be achievable through manipulations of the function of PATROL1 genes.

Original article
Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/ncomms3215
M. Hashimoto-Sugimoto, T. Higaki, T. Yaeno, A. Nagami, M. Irie, M. Fujimi, M. Miyamoto, K. Akita, J. Negi, K. Shirasu, S. Hasezawa, K. Iba,
"A Munc13-like protein in Arabidopsis mediates H+-ATPase translocation that is essential for stomatal responses".
Ken Shirasu
Group Director
Plant Immunity Research Group