How does cotton deal with stress?

by ritualofoak

Balls of cotton ready for harvest
Public Domain, Link

 

Want to know how to put an audience to sleep? Write a blog post about abscisic acid signalling regulators. Want to know how to wake them back up?

Big gong.

Ok, yeah, ouch.

The first big question from those of us who haven’t taken upper level botanical university courses is, of course: What exactly is abscisic acid? Abscisic acid is a plant hormone that is responsible for a wide range of processes. It participates in plant development, dormancy, and stress response.

OK, not too bad. So what about signalling regulators? Cell signalling is the process that involves the binding of a “signal” molecule to a receptor. This binding triggers an event. A signalling regulator, then, is some protein that participates in regulating the signalling process.

The abscisic acid (ABA) receptors, pyrabactin resistance1 / PYR1-like/ regulatory components of ABA receptor (which we will refer to as PYLs for both of our sakes), have been well researched in both Arabidopsis (the model plant), and rice. Researchers at Henan University in China have now expanded the knowledge base to include cotton.

Cotton (Gossypium sp. ), as is likely apparent, is a fundamentally important fiber crop. The research that Zhang et al. have done paves the way for future investigations into stress response in cotton. Of course, with the consequences of human-mediated climate change looming over the horizon, this brand of research will continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring there is a future for mankind.

Research Citation: Zhang et al. 2017. Genome-wide identification of ABA receptor PYL family and expression analysis of PYLs in response to ABA and osmotic stress in Gossypium. PeerJ. [Internet]. [cited 2018 Mar 12]

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