Anti-ageing success in flowers

Anti-ageing treatment successful in flowers
Image by Deepak Adhikari. Sourced from wiki commons

Scientists have found an anti-ageing treatment which doubles the life span of morning glory flowers. Most flowers age very quickly. Japanese morning glory flowers are among the most unlucky – they have only 13 hours before they start to die. They die due to a process of cellular senescence, which is also believed to be a major cause of human ageing.

Plant scientists found that a gene named EPHEMERAL1 controls petal senescence. When they suppressed EPHEMERAL1 expression in Japanese morning glory, the flowers lasted over 24 hours i.e. twice as long as untreated flowers.

A doubling of lifespan is a very exciting achievement in the ageing field. Before we get too excited, EPHEMERAL1 is a plant specific gene. Humans don’t have a homologous gene. But EPHEMERAL1 is a NAC transcription factor. These genes control development in the plant, plant hormones and programmed cell death. So this study, showing that inhibiting a developmental gene can delay ageing, supports the hypothesis that developmental genes may be involved in human ageing.

The Scientific Paper:
Shibuya et al. Identification of NAC transcription factor, EPHEMERAL1, that controls petal senescence in Japanese morning glory. Plant J. 2014  

Let me know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s