A research team led by Prof. Jiang Liwen, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Life Sciences has made a major breakthrough in revealing the molecular mechanisms of vacuole formation in plants. Taking advantage of cutting-edge 3D electron tomography at nanometre resolution, the team comprising researchers from Hong Kong, Japan and the US discovered that vacuoles are mainly derived from the fusion and maturation of multivesicular bodies, which involve multiple regulated consequent fusions. This revolutionary finding redefines the concept of plant vacuole nature and formation in textbook, and is set to throw light on ways to improve crop quality to overcome environmental stress and pathogen infection, and the manipulation of vacuoles in plant bioreactor for pharmaceutical proteins.
This article was originally published in No. 531, Newsletter in Jan 2019.