Recent study has shown that a protein like protein, called Prion Protein that exists naturally in plants is very much useful as water sensor in seeds. So if the plants are under stress due to drought or some other reason and the moisture level is low, this protein will absorb moisture from the surrounding air and change it into starch and later into glycogen. Glycogen is the glucose-like substance that is found in the muscles and other tissues. In the body proteins too play a major role in regulating the metabolism and helping us digest food.
The study was conducted by scientists at the University of Exeter in England. This is one of the latest developments in this field. They have used Prion Protein in order to monitor the moisture content in seeds. If this protein absorbs moisture it will display two different colors i.e. red in case of dew and black in case of moisture starvation. These color changes are quite noticeable after several hours.
These studies clearly show that the presence of this protein in the plant pores is important for the growth and development of the seeds. This protein like structure acts as a sort of sensors that are present in the leafy and plant tissues that are present outside of the plant root. Due to its unique function, researchers feel that Prion like protein in the plants can be of great use as a natural fertilizer for the production of bio-degradable waste which could be used for generating energy.
This protein is present in the outer layer of the leaves and stems of the plants. Biologist believe that the protein that acts as a water sensor in seeds is responsible for the action of nitrogen and phosphorous in the plant cells. They also feel that the presence of this protein in the leaves protects the stem of the plant from extreme moisture or heat. Although this protein has not been used as a fertilizer yet, it has been found that the action of Prion protein is similar to that of biological nitrogen fertilizer. There are researches going on to develop a synthetic form of the protein that could be used for the benefit of the mankind.
According to the research findings, Prion like protein found in the plants’ leaves acts as a sort of sensor that acts on the concentration of nutrients present in the atmosphere. It senses the moisture in the air and transfers its information to the plant cell. The plant cell then uses the nutrient information for the growth of the seeds. It has been found that the activity of the like protein decreases as the amount of moisture present in the air increases. There have also been researches made which proves that the presence of this protein in the seeds delays the germination of the plant.
A lot of research work is being done in the field of biotechnology and this has resulted in the discovery of this protein. Prion like protein that acts as a water sensor in seeds has given a lot of advantages to the mankind. This is because it has been found that the protein greatly reduces the rate of air and water evaporation. In fact, some of the researchers even suggest that the use of the protein in soil could help to make the production of food more efficient.