Tag Archives: PNAS

Learning from the unusual

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.

Small weed helps unravel complex plant defence system  [Diamond press release] Arabidopsis thaliana, or thale cress as it is commonly known, made history back in 2000 by becoming the first plant to have its entire genetic code read by scientists, contributing to what is often referred to as biology’s version of the book of life.  [...]

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Legumes give nitrogen-supplying bacteria special access pass

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.

A 120-year debate on how nitrogen-fixing bacteria are able to breach the cell walls of legumes has been settled. A paper to be published on Monday 19th December by John Innes Centre scientists reports that plants themselves allow bacteria in. Once inside the right cells, these bacteria take nitrogen from the air and supply it [...]

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How parasites modify plants to attract insects

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.

Pathogens can alter their hosts, for example malaria parasites can make humans more attractive to mosquitoes, but how they do it has remained a mystery. Scientists from the John Innes Centre on Norwich Research Park have identified for the first time a specific molecule from a parasite that manipulates plant development to the advantage of [...]

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Novel method for increasing antibiotic yields

Novel method for increasing antibiotic yields

A novel way of increasing the amounts of antibiotics produced by bacteria has been discovered that could markedly improve the yields of these important compounds in commercial production. It could also be valuable in helping to discover new compounds. With the ever-growing threat from antibiotic resistance, these tools will be very useful in ensuring that [...]

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How an ‘evolutionary playground’ brings plant genes together

How an ‘evolutionary playground’ brings plant genes together

Plants produce a vast array of natural products, many of which we find useful for making things such as drugs. There are likely to be many other plant natural products that remain undiscovered or under-exploited, and research from The John Innes Centre, which is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), [...]

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Key seed size gene identified

Key seed size gene identified

Scientists from the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK and the University of Freiburg in Germany have uncovered a gene in plants that is responsible for controlling the size of seeds, which could lead to ways of improving crops to help ensure food security in the future. Increasing seed or grain size has been key [...]

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Bacteria shed light on an important group of human proteins

Bacteria shed light on an important group of human proteins

A collaboration between researchers in Switzerland, the UK and France has led to the solution of the first crystal structure of a member of the Rhesus protein family and thereby shed new light on a group of proteins of great importance in human transfusion medicine.  The UK group was led by Professor Mike Merrick in [...]

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Another piece of membrane protein puzzle solved; how cells regulate ammonium uptake can be better understood

Another piece of membrane protein puzzle solved; how cells regulate ammonium uptake can be better understood

Nitrogen uptake and metabolism is essential for living cells. The uptake mainly occurs through the most reduced form of nitrogen, ammonia. When nitrogen is limited, ammonia uptake in bacteria, fungi and plants is facilitated by a family of membrane proteins known as the ammonium transport (Amt) family. Work on this ubiquitous protein family has been [...]

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