Trimethylamine N-oxide is a new plant molecule that promotes abiotic stress tolerance
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A molecule associated with the development of heart disease in humans may help plants to tolerate stresses such as drought, freezing temperatures and high salinity.
In mammals, trimethylamine N-oxide plays a role in ensuring that proteins form and remain in the correct shape. However, high levels of it are associated with heart disease and stroke.
Now, five researchers from the Spanish National Research Council have discovered trimethylamine N-oxide also exists in plants and that its levels increase when a plant is subject to environmental stress.
Their experiments on thale cress revealed that trimethylamine N-oxide increased the activity of genes associated with plants’ responses to extreme conditions such as low temperatures. Just as in mammals, trimethylamine N-oxide was also involved in making sure that proteins had correct configurations in plants, which is a part of their stress response.
- Science Advances 7, eabd9296 (2021). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abd9296
|Centre for Biological Research (CIB), CSIC, Spain||1.00|