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A newly discovered protein turns on plants' cellular defence to excessive light and other stress factors caused by a changing climate, according to a new study published in eLife.
Plants play a crucial role in supporting life on earth by using energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars and oxygen—a process called photosynthesis. This provides a crucial food supply for humans and animals, and makes the atmosphere more hospitable to living creatures. Understanding how plants respond to stressors may allow scientists to develop ways of protecting crops from increasingly harsh climate conditions.
Compartments - Plant - Cells - Chloroplasts - House
Tiny compartments in plant cells called chloroplasts house the molecular machinery of photosynthesis. This machinery is made up of proteins that must be assembled and maintained. Harsh conditions such as excessive light can push this machinery into overdrive and damage the proteins. When this happens, a protective response kicks in called the chloroplast unfolded protein response (cpUPR). "Until now, it was not known how cells evaluate the balance of healthy and damaged proteins in the chloroplast and trigger this protective response," says co-senior author Silvia Ramundo, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Walter Lab at the University of California, San Francisco...
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