Query:Stimulating new growth with specific proteins

Theo Baert Theo.Baert at ping.be
Fri Dec 29 18:12:28 EST 1995


dennis_goos at mindlink.bc.ca (dennis goos) wrote:

>Ignorant as I am, I wondered if any similar stimulation to produce new cells
>through application of a specific protein molecule was possible in the plant
>world.
>Imagine if a tree could be stimulated to reproduce growth removed in the
>harvesting of timber by application of a protein molecule to the stump !!
>Anyone know of any research that would parallel this mammalian experimentation ?

Plants do generate new cells and stumps can grow again to new plants
in mainy cases, even without any treatment. This is influenced by
plant-hormones, less complicated molecules than proteins.
e.g. : rooting of stem cuttings can be stimulated by an auxin
treatment of the cuttings. This technique is used for decades.
The natural regeneration of stumps is also an auxin effect, or better
a lack of auxin, produced in the top of the plant. The lower
concentration of the auxin in the underlaying buds stimulates the
growth of these buds and new shoots appear, giveing a new plant. (Some
scientists do not agree completely with this theory however...)
Just to show you that plants can produce the effect you wrote about. 
Applications for agriculture or forestry are not so easy to find, most
of the hormones (besides the synthetic auxins) are quite expensive and
their use is not justified in economic terms.

Theo

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+   Theo Baert       email: Theo.Baert at ping.be
+                       Erudit qui custodient terrae fertilitatem                   
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