Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Ground-breaking research conducted by, among others, an academic from the University of Worcester has been published in the world's leading science journal.
Dr Mahmut Tor was one of nine authors to publish a paper exploring the biological clock and immune systems of plants.
The paper was accepted by Nature, which is generally regarded as the best science journal in the world. All living organisms, from bacteria, fungi and plants, to human beings, are organised by an internal clock that controls biological activities.
The research published in Nature reports that the plants can defend themselves against infections with the help of the clock. The research demonstrated that plants are more resistant to disease in the early morning as they can predict when dawn will occur. This is the time when plants are most at risk from pathogens and so they need to employ their defence mechanisms.
Dr Tor, a scientist in the University’s National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit (NPARU), said: “This research could help devise new ways to manage diseases, inform farmers about when to spray their crops to have maximum impact and will also change all previous thinking about plant disease.”
Professor John Newbury, Head of the University of Worcester’s Institute of Science and the Environment, said: “Nature is generally regarded as the best science journal in the world and it is very difficult to get a paper accepted in to it. Having staff who have published in the journal has a very positive impact on our academic reputation.”
To read the Nature paper visit http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v470/n7332/full/nature09766.html
Dr Mike Wheeler, Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry and Genetics at the University, has also previously had a paper published in Nature.