Unknown plant mechanism

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Until now, it was thought that food was introduced to plant cells by specific transporters. But food has been tested at the Institute of Agrobiotechnology at the Public University of Navarra (sucrose, amino acids, etc.) Mainly by endocytosis, by forming vesicles in the form of pouches.

This discovery has broken a dogma about plants. According to this dogma, any substance needs specific transporters in the plasma membrane to be introduced into the plant. This research does not exclude specific transporters present in the plasma membrane, but it seems that they are less than previously thought and have less importance.

Thus, experiments have shown that there are two independent processes of obtaining food. That is, in the first minutes the entry to the cells is done through the sucrose transporters, while the sucrose itself activates the process of endocytosis. Endocytosis produces microbes in the cell that, since then, absorb large amounts of sucrose.

The results of the research have also shown that only sucrose is responsible for the process of endocytosis, tests with fructose and glucose that none of them activated.

Now researchers want to know if that sucrose that enters by endocytosis is used to produce starch. Thus, for example, to increase the production of potato starch or corn, endocytosis should be strengthened by both molecular and genetic mechanisms of the process.

Eusko Jaurlaritzako Industria, Merkataritza eta Turismo Saila