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Understanding the language of drugged plants

10th November 2019

Plant biologists have recognized the potential in using small molecules identified from chemical libraries to provide insights into biological questions relevant to plants. However, the classical genetics mindset still predominant among plant scientists should evolve to embrace cross-disciplinary chemical genetics projects that will benefit future plant research.

Historically, chemistry and plants have been tightly linked, because plants, as a source of highly diverse natural products, have inspired synthetic chemists and drug developers. Furthermore, the discovery of phytohormones and their receptor-mediated signaling pathways have piqued the interest of many plant biologists, who have begun to search chemical space to identify functionally similar small bioactive compounds. Over the last two decades, the focus has shifted toward more targeted classical genetics research wherein plant biologists have rationally perturbed biological responses to address fundamental questions1.

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