22nd Oct 2013

Molecular physiologist and Biology lecturer at the University of Bolton, Dr Ianis G. Matsoukas, has seen one of his research images on the front cover of the renowned biology journal, Plant, Cell and Environment.

Dr Matsoukas and his team of researchers at Bolton, along with scientists from University of Warwick, have already made a molecular-level discovery in plants that could lead to the development of crops that are more resilient to climate change. These kinds of genetically enhanced plants could be used to bolster crop reserves in the developing world.

PC&E is published by Wiley-Blackwell. It has been named one of the 'hottest journals of the millennium (so far)', in a recent ScienceWatch report. ScienceWatch is an open Web resource that measures and monitors scientific research.

The front cover shows mutant plants of Arabidopsis thaliana, a small flowering plant species native to Europe and Asia with white petals, at flowering stage. Ianis said: ‘I was honoured to be asked to provide an image, which captures my Arabidopsis mutant plants to accompany my research article, which will be published in the same issue. 

Arabidopsis was the first plant - and the third multicellular organism after roundworm and common fruit fly - to have its genome completely genetically sequenced. One goal of geneticists studying Arabidopsis is to understand the physiology, biochemistry, growth, and development of plants at the molecular level.

They can use this knowledge to produce new varieties of climate-resilient crops and other plants with increased stress tolerance, for example, or containing more of particular parts prized for their nutritional content or floral display.

Dr Matsoukas’ research article entitled ‘Starch Metabolism and Antiflorigenic Signals Modulate the Juvenile-to-Adult Phase Transition in Arabidopsis’. You can read more in the full article at Plant Cell and Environment: