From winter’s rest to spring’s bloom: PmDAM6 gene steers plant bud dormancy

Plant dormancy’s genetic mechanisms are vital for enhancing agricultural resilience and productivity. The interaction between lipid metabolism and hormone regulation significantly influences dormancy phases, essential for plant survival under varying climatic conditions. Exploring these biological challenges through genetic research is crucial for devising innovative strategies to ensure crop adaptability and sustainability.

Researchers at Kyoto University have made significant strides in understanding plant dormancy, a critical adaptation for woody perennials. In a study (DOI: 10.1093/hr/uhae102) published on April 9, 2024, in Horticulture Research, they reveal the intricate regulatory role of the PmDAM6 gene on lipid body accumulation and phytohormone metabolism in the dormant vegetative meristem, offering new insights into the genetic control of this vital process.

The study underscores the role of the Prunus mume DAM6 gene in managing lipid accumulation and phytohormone balance within dormant vegetative meristems. Enhanced DAM6 expression resulted in increased lipid bodies and reduced cell division by downregulating genes involved in lipid catabolism and the cell cycle. This genetic modulation also altered phytohormone levels, notably increasing abscisic acid while decreasing cytokinin and gibberellin. These findings indicate a complex regulatory network where lipid metabolism and hormone adjustments converge to manage dormancy. Transmission electron microscopy provided detailed visual evidence of DAM6’s cellular impact, highlighting its potential as a target for enhancing plant adaptability and dormancy management.

Dr. Hisayo Yamane, the study’s lead author, states, “Modulating DAM6 not only deepens our understanding of dormancy mechanisms but also catalyzes the development of strategies to enhance crop adaptation to changing climates, potentially revolutionizing agricultural practices.”

Manipulating the DAM6 gene could transform agricultural practices by allowing precise control over dormancy periods, optimizing growth cycles, and enhancing crop resilience against environmental stresses. This breakthrough opens new avenues for breeding programs focused on improving food security amid global climate change challenges.





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Funding information

This research was supported by the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan (Grant-in-Aid KAKENHI Nos. 18H02198 and 21H02186) to HY.

About Horticulture Research

Horticulture Research is an open access journal of Nanjing Agricultural University and ranked number one in the Horticulture category of the Journal Citation Reports ™ from Clarivate, 2022. The journal is committed to publishing original research articles, reviews, perspectives, comments, correspondence articles and letters to the editor related to all major horticultural plants and disciplines, including biotechnology, breeding, cellular and molecular biology, evolution, genetics, inter-species interactions, physiology, and the origination and domestication of crops.

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