This Discovery Could Revive Plants

Lack of Light

Researchers at the University of California (UC) Riverside have discovered a crucial player in plant aging, a protein called Conserved Oligomeric Golgi (COG) and its associated organelle, the Golgi body, according to Nature Plants. So, no more worries due to the lack of light.

You can revive your plant or stop it from dying. This discovery brings significant promise to my grandmother, as her garden stands to benefit greatly from this breakthrough.

“For us, this finding is a big deal. For the first time, we have defined the profound importance of an organelle in the cell that was not previously implicated in the process of aging,” said Katie Dehesh, professor of molecular biochemistry at UCR and co-author of this new piece.

Instead of Singing to the Plants

Okay, while serenading your plants is a common practice, it’s worth considering that this may not be conducive to their overall well-being. So, instead, listen to this discovery. The lack of light hinders the plants’ growth, as they require sunlight to fuel their growth. Thus, they will be COG-free plants and turn yellow.

Now, on to the associated organelle, Golgi body.

The Golgi body is responsible for sorting different molecules in the cell and making sure that these molecules get into the right place.

“Golgi are like the post office of the cell. They package and send out proteins and lipids to where they’re needed,” said Heeseung Choi, a researcher in UCR’s Botany and Plant Sciences Department and co-author of the new study. “A damaged Golgi can create confusion and trouble in the cell’s activities, affecting how the cell works and stays healthy.”

There are some technologies adopted, such as the gene editing technology to manipulate the genes responsible for COG production to create mutant plants lacking protein. There’s also microscopy, where advanced ones are dependent on electron microscopes to facilitate the visualization of the Golgi body and its changes in COG-deficient plants. Also, there are biochemical assays to measure protein levels, enzyme activity, and other biochemical changes to examine the plant stress response.

Plants to Human-Aging

The discovery opens a new avenue for human-aging, even without directly targeting it. Understanding COG and the Golgi body paves the way for enhancing people’s health and the resilience of our cells. The most crucial part is that it could benefit various conditions, including aging, cardiovascular problems, neurodegenerative diseases and even cancer.

“When the COG protein complex doesn’t work properly, it might make our cells age faster, just like what we saw in plants when they lacked light. This breakthrough could have far-reaching implications for the study of aging and age-related diseases,” Dehesh said.


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