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Unveiling the Mystery of Nature, "Fall, Leaves Fall"
---NTU Assistant Professor of Institute of Plant Biology and Life Sciences
Department Tsung Luo Jinn's Research Thesis Made the Cover of PNAS, USA.(Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, USA)

Fall, leaves, fall; die,
flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
Excerpts from "Fall, all Leaves Fall" By Emily Jane Bronte

The October 7th issue of PNAS, USA (Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, USA) published a cover story on "Regulation of floral organ abscission," which was jointly authored by Tsung-Luo Jinn, Assistant Professor of Institute of Plant Biology and Life Science Department of NTU, and six researchers from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Their research achievements, as embodied in the cover story, provide further discourse and analysis on the abscission phenomenon commonly found in plants, and offer clues as to why flowers bloom and fade on a seasonal basis.

Dr. Jinn points out that, abscission is one the most general interesting event in plants. The abscission is a preprogrammed physiological process commonly found in many types of plants, and the purpose of which is to cast off unneeded organs such as leaves, branches, flowers, petals, fruits and seeds in order to reproduce offspring. Also, it is a developmental program that results in the active shading of infected or nonfunctional organs from the plant body. This work studies in Arabidopsis thaliana have identified several genes that establishes a signaling pathway to control abscission from a ligand, to receptors, and to downstream effectors.

Under a grant from NTU's "Elite Cultivation Program," Dr. Jinn went to University of Missouri at Columbia where he spent a year at Dr. John Walker's Lab. Continuing his past studies on the functional genes of plants (Jinn et al., Genes Dev (2000) 14:108-117), Dr. Jinn participated in an international research project in collaboration with Dr. Walker. Using Arabidopsis thaliana as the model plant, and integrating the available knowledge of molecular genetics, anatomy and biochemistry, Dr. Jinn and his partners were able to confirm that the abscission of floral organs in Arabidopsis thaliana was regulated by downstream effectors (MKK4/Mkk5, MPK3/MPK6) which were signaled by two receptor protein kinases, HAESA and HAESA-like 2. The research team also discovered that the signaling process was independent of the functions of the ethylene hormone. Consequently, the research team's remarkable finding established an important and intact paradigm which unveiled the mystery of nature by proving that HAESA played a pivotal role in the growth and abscission of plants.

For the full text of the article, please search: Regulation of floral organ abscission in Arabidopsis thaliana, (2008) Sung Ki Cho, Clayton T. Larue, David Chevalier, Huachun Wang, Tsung-Luo Jinn, Shuqun Zhang, and John C. Walker. PNAS USA 105: 15629-15634

Dr. JC Walker (SKC, CTL and DC), Dr. S Zhang (HW) and Dr. Tsung Luo Jinn's research labs equally participated in the authoring of this article.

Chinese version