A new research around plants has thrown up some interesting facts.
The report says that like in humans and animals, there is a mother-child communication present in plants too.
An international team led by Freiburg plant biologist Prof. Dr. Thomas Laux, has shown that mother plants guide the development of their embryos using the hormone auxin.
When embryos develop inside their mother, their well-being depends on the nurture provided by the maternal tissue. Mutations in the maternal tissue may result in defective embryo development.
In seed-bearing plants such as grains, the embryos develop in unison with the surrounding tissues of the mother plant.
This led Laux and his colleagues to conclude that there must be a form of communication between the mother plant and the embryo that guides the early stages of development, post the initial stage of fertilization is over.
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Auxin is used by plants to control a variety of processes, ranging from organ development to defence against pathogenic microbes. The biologists felt that embryo development is disturbed when the production of auxin by the maternal cells is blocked.
However, artificial activation of auxin biosynthesis in the embryo cells ( as they are normally unable to produce this hormone in the early stages of development), allows the embryos to develop normally without a maternal auxin supply.
Since they made similar observations in maize, the researchers speculated that the mechanism they discovered may be widespread in plant species. This finding could also contribute to the optimization of biotechnological plant propagation.
One of the outcomes of this study, in the future, could be the help they provide to agriculturists to grow resilient plants. As the environment changes rapidly and challenges come in, this study will prove beneficial.