Benfey Lab Publishes in Nature

As the root grows

The Benfey Lab has presented an important new finding in a recent issue of NatureRGF1 controls root meristem size through ROS signalling.  Postdoc Masashi Yamada, with the assistance of Xinwei Han and the overall guidance of Prof. Philip Benfey, demonstrated that forms of oxygen usually considered toxic actually have important roles to play in the growth of roots.  As the tip of the root creates new cells to burrow through the earth, superoxide tells cells to keep dividing and pushing the tip onward, while hydrogen peroxide tells cells that it's time to stop duplicating themselves and start turning into the various specialized cells that perform different functions within the root.  In the complex ballet of cell growth, it seems we can't assume that black hats are wholly bad.

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The Making of a Root