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‘Fountain of youth’ for leaves discovered

Su-Sheng Gan

Horticulture professor Su-Sheng Gan examines seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana. Photo: Craig Cramer

Article by Amanda Garris in the Cornell Chronicle 2013-08-22:

What plant scientists call senescence, consumers experience as wilted produce and overripe fruit. A team led by Cornell horticulture professor Su-Sheng Gan has identified an enzymatic fountain of youth that slows the process of leaf death, a discovery that lays the foundation for the genetics of freshness.

In a series of experiments using the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, Gan and colleagues discovered a key regulator – S3H – that acts as a brake on the process of leaf death. When its levels are low, leaves senesce early; when it is present in high levels, it results in longer leaf longevity.

The study was published in the Aug. 19 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, with former Cornell postdoctoral associate Kewei Zhang (now at Brookhaven National Laboratory) as first author.

Read the whole article.

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