In a new finding, researchers discover a gene that controls the regulation of iron consumption in plants.
The finding brings hope for more than 2 billion people affected with iron deficiency across the globe. Additionally, this discovery plays an important role in augmenting iron potency of crops like cassava, wheat, and rice. These crops constitute the staple diets of most of the people on earth.
Iron Uptake and Storage Strictly Regulated by New Protein
The gene gives a signal to plants about the need to transport iron by switching a genetic pathway that comprises countless other genes.
This current study elaborates on the spotting of a gene in plants and it also offers the very first explanation of how it functions to control the uptake of iron.
This newly discovered gene is called Upstream Regulator of IRT1 or URI. The newly discovered gene regulates depending on the need of expression of genes to imitate uptake of iron. Meanwhile, URI controls nearly 1500 various other genes not connected with iron, say findings.
The team from Dartmouth College discovered that UTI protein is always there in the plants. The continuous presence of the protein can make out about the state of iron sufficiency. It helps in self-regulation and prevents dangerous over-exposure to such a substance.
Under conditions of iron deficiency, the newly discovered protein, URI, mixes with a molecule of phosphate and triggers a sequence of genetic events that switch on the system of iron uptake. Meanwhile, phosphorylation is a popular process that cells utilize to control the functions of the protein. It also helps in the transmission of signals.
Plants depend on iron for its growth and the process of photosynthesis and iron is an extremely toxic and reactive element. This protein regulates increased consumption and storage of iron strictly. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the findings of this study.