Tag: Plant Biology

Kava plants

Multi “-omics” approach uncovers the riches of traditional global medicine

July 22, 2019

Researchers solve how the kava plant produces its pain-relieving and anti-anxiety molecules, and demonstrate an extensible method to scale and optimize their production

Electromicroscopy image of an Arabidopsis anther filled with pollen grains

Scaffolding the nursery of pollen development

March 18, 2019

Whitehead researchers identify critical components of the scaffolding that supports and protects pollen production

Illustration of scientist and trees

A Fruitful Pursuit: Plant Biology at Whitehead Institute

January 24, 2019

Decades of pioneering plant research at Whitehead Institute have led to biological insights and useful discoveries

Pollen grains

A tough case cracked

December 17, 2018

The detailed molecular structure of the inert plant material sporopollenin — key for the emergence of land plants — has been resolved

Slide of a plant embryo

Plant characteristics shaped by parental conflict

November 19, 2018

Differences in common traits within a plant species, such as seed size, can be determined by more than gene sequence.

Image of goji berries

Heart-healthy plant chemistry

October 29, 2018

A novel genomic approach helps identify medicinal compounds in plants.

Picture of a golden root plant

Harnessing nature’s riches

December 19, 2017

With unique sustainable engineering method, a team of Whitehead Institute researchers unlocks the biochemistry needed to synthesize key substance from rare medicinal plant.

Images of Arabidopsis seeds

Small RNA mediates genetic parental conflict in seed endosperm

December 19, 2017

When it comes to gene expression in the endosperm of seeds, gene provenance matters. In this specialized tissue, plants actively strive to keep the expression of genes inherited from the mother versus the father in balance, according to Whitehead Institute scientists.

Image of plants with curled leaves due to lack of gene methylation

Epigenetic rheostat helps uncover how gene regulation is inherited and maintained

December 14, 2017

DNA Methylation—the addition of chemical tags to DNA—typically reduces the expression of methylated genes. Whitehead Institute Member Mary Gehring and her lab have identified a mechanism important for maintaining methylation, that when disrupted, results in the demethylation of large sections of the Arabidopsis plant’s genome.

Illustration of scientist picking molecules from a tree

Large-scale approach reveals imperfect actor in plant biotechnology

November 27, 2017

Whitehead researchers detect the chemical ‘mistakes’ of common herbicide-resistance enzyme, successfully re-engineer it for enhanced precision

Photo of plate showing different strengths of prion activity in yeast

Prion-like protein found in plants

April 29, 2016

Whitehead Institute scientists have determined that a plant protein involved in the timing of flowering could in fact be a prion. This is the first time that a possible prion has been identified in plants, and it may play a role in a plant’s “memory” of cold exposure during winter.

Photo of Arabidopsis thaliana

Shocking evolution into action

February 18, 2008

One heat shock protein affects the expression of many complex traits genes, which may contribute to rapid evolutionary change.

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