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How to build crops that can beat aluminum's toxic effects
Date:10/3/2008

engineering crop plants incapable of restricting root growth in response to Al toxicity, Larsen said. He anticipates that introduction of the mutant versions of AtATR into crop plants would override the existing assessment mechanisms and allow for continued cell division in soils that would normally inhibit root growth.

The new results may offer insight into Al toxicity not only in economically important agricultural crops, but also in animals, given that ATR genes are universally found in plants and animals, where they serve in various capacities related to DNA-damage assessment.

" To date, no one has been able to discern which targets of Al are critical to the manifestation of Al toxicity in either plant or animals, partly due to the predicted complexity of Al toxicity," he said. "This work clearly argues that DNA damage and response to this damage is paramount."


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Contact: Cathleen Genova
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Cell Press
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