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June 23, 2017

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Plant research could give insight on aging process

TAIPEI--Taiwanese scientists have found a link between the transport of proteins inside plant cells and age, which could help increase understanding of the aging process, Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institute, said yesterday.

A team of researchers led by Academia Sinica's Lee Hsou-min discovered that proteins inside plant cells have their own likes and dislikes in the types of chloroplasts they enter, according to a study published in the scholarly journal PLOS Biology a day earlier.

The researchers found during their investigation of pea leaves of different ages, that some proteins prefer older or younger chloroplasts, while others have no special preferences.

The chloroplast is the part of a plant cell that conducts photosynthesis and other chemical reactions.

The findings reverse the accepted premise that the transport of proteins inside cells, whether plant or animal, is age independent, the researchers said.

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