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Heat shock proteins: role in seed germination


January 18, 2008

Source: CropBiotech Update

Heat shock proteins (Hsps) are molecular chaperones that are expressed in large amount when cells are exposed to elevated temperature and other stress. They are involved in numerous plant cellular processes like protein folding, transport of proteins across membranes, regulation of protein activities and prevention of irreversible protein aggregation.

Scientists from the Taiwanese Institute of Molecular Biology have recently presented evidences that a particular heat shock protein, Hsp70, is necessary for seed germination in the model plant Arabidopsis. The scientists mutated the genes coding for Hsp70 to establish its role in plant development. Arabidopsis seedlings expressing the heat shock protein were found to exhibit thermotolerance. They can adapt to temperature fluctuations without affecting the germination process. Modifying Hsp expression in plants can confer tolerance to certain stresses like drought and salinity.

Read t the paper published by Plant Physiology at





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