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News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Joint Corp. (Nasdaq:JYNT), the fastest growing chiropractic franchise, recently announced aggressive expansion plans for the state of Washington, with goals to open more than 20 locations in the coming years. To facilitate this growth, The Joint welcomes Kevin Kelly, Fred Auzenne and Faith Clinkenbeard as the new regional developers for the state of Washington, excluding the Vancouver area and including Kootenai County, Idaho. The group will assist with upwards of 20 new clinics statewide in addition to helping support the existing three The Joint clinics located in the Seattle area. They also plan to open and manage multiple clinics themselves. The regional developer team is comprised of four partners who bring years of franchise ownership and experience in consulting and financial services. “We all love health and wellness membership-based businesses,” says Kelly. “The Joint has a simple business model that provides patients with quality care; I know, because I’ve been an extremely happy patient of The Joint for years.” The Joint’s concept is one Kelly and his business partners believe in. “The business model brings order and balance to the seemingly chaotic chiropractic industry,” Kelly explains. “The low-cost, high value proposition make it attractive for both the franchisee and the patient. Additionally, chiropractors finally have the opportunity to focus on what they love, relieving their patients of pain, without the many hassles of dealing with the insurance industry. Patients who want regular chiropractic care, but may not be able to afford maintenance care, will find The Joint as their answer.” Kelly is a former fighter pilot. He served a combined 25 years for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force. In addition to being a multi-unit operator for Planet Fitness locations in Washington and Arizona, Kelly works with many large companies and is a leadership/management consultant. Auzenne has a strong history as an entrepreneur. He’s currently involved in several ventures, including managing an Entrepreneur Opportunity Fund that initiates debt and equity placements into small and medium-sized stage companies, investing in commercial real estate projects and consulting with small business startups. He also serves as chief executive officer of The Legacy Group and Quantum Wellness Botanical Institute and the chief revenue officer of Flipping Wall Street. The Legacy Group offers comprehensive sales and marketing consulting services for businesses that want to use franchising as their business model for expansion, while Flipping Wall Street is a technology and marketing company specializing in stock trading software and Quantum Wellness Botanical Institute sells plant-based nutritional supplements. Clinkenbeard has a background as a restaurateur with the Maestros Group with a heavy focus on management and customer service. She was drawn to The Joint because the concept is one that aligns with her personal values of helping people. Clinkenbeard is originally from Bellevue, Washington. About The Joint Corp. (NASDAQ:JYNT) Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, The Joint is reinventing chiropractic by making quality care convenient and affordable for patients seeking pain relief and ongoing wellness. A no-appointment policy and convenient hours and locations make care more accessible, and affordable membership plans and packages eliminate the need for insurance. With 370+ clinics nationwide and more than 4 million patient visits annually, The Joint is an emerging growth company and key leader in the chiropractic profession. For more information, visit www.thejoint.com or follow the brand on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Business Structure The Joint Corp. is a franchisor of clinics and an operator of clinics in certain states. In Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington, The Joint and its franchisees provide management services to affiliated professional chiropractic practices. This press release contains statements about future events and expectations that constitute forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of industry trends, our future financial and operating performance and our growth plans, taking into account the information currently available to us.  These statements are not statements of historical fact.  Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations of future results we express or imply in any forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on such statements.  Factors that could contribute to these differences include, but are not limited to, our failure to develop or acquire corporate clinics as rapidly as we intend, our failure to profitably operate corporate clinics, and the factors described in “Risk Factors” in The Joint Corp.’s 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K.  Words such as "anticipates", "believes", "continues", "estimates", "expects", "goal", "objectives", "intends", "may", "opportunity", "plans", "potential", "near-term", "long-term", "projections", "assumptions", "projects", "guidance", "forecasts", "outlook", "target", "trends", "should", "could", "would", "will" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. We qualify any forward-looking statements entirely by these cautionary factors.  We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.  Comparisons of results for current and any prior periods are not intended to express any future trends or indications of future performance, unless expressed as such, and should only be viewed as historical data.


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Joint Corp. (Nasdaq:JYNT), the fastest growing chiropractic franchise, recently announced aggressive expansion plans for the state of Washington, with goals to open more than 20 locations in the coming years. To facilitate this growth, The Joint welcomes Kevin Kelly, Fred Auzenne and Faith Clinkenbeard as the new regional developers for the state of Washington, excluding the Vancouver area and including Kootenai County, Idaho. The group will assist with upwards of 20 new clinics statewide in addition to helping support the existing three The Joint clinics located in the Seattle area. They also plan to open and manage multiple clinics themselves. The regional developer team is comprised of four partners who bring years of franchise ownership and experience in consulting and financial services. “We all love health and wellness membership-based businesses,” says Kelly. “The Joint has a simple business model that provides patients with quality care; I know, because I’ve been an extremely happy patient of The Joint for years.” The Joint’s concept is one Kelly and his business partners believe in. “The business model brings order and balance to the seemingly chaotic chiropractic industry,” Kelly explains. “The low-cost, high value proposition make it attractive for both the franchisee and the patient. Additionally, chiropractors finally have the opportunity to focus on what they love, relieving their patients of pain, without the many hassles of dealing with the insurance industry. Patients who want regular chiropractic care, but may not be able to afford maintenance care, will find The Joint as their answer.” Kelly is a former fighter pilot. He served a combined 25 years for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force. In addition to being a multi-unit operator for Planet Fitness locations in Washington and Arizona, Kelly works with many large companies and is a leadership/management consultant. Auzenne has a strong history as an entrepreneur. He’s currently involved in several ventures, including managing an Entrepreneur Opportunity Fund that initiates debt and equity placements into small and medium-sized stage companies, investing in commercial real estate projects and consulting with small business startups. He also serves as chief executive officer of The Legacy Group and Quantum Wellness Botanical Institute and the chief revenue officer of Flipping Wall Street. The Legacy Group offers comprehensive sales and marketing consulting services for businesses that want to use franchising as their business model for expansion, while Flipping Wall Street is a technology and marketing company specializing in stock trading software and Quantum Wellness Botanical Institute sells plant-based nutritional supplements. Clinkenbeard has a background as a restaurateur with the Maestros Group with a heavy focus on management and customer service. She was drawn to The Joint because the concept is one that aligns with her personal values of helping people. Clinkenbeard is originally from Bellevue, Washington. About The Joint Corp. (NASDAQ:JYNT) Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, The Joint is reinventing chiropractic by making quality care convenient and affordable for patients seeking pain relief and ongoing wellness. A no-appointment policy and convenient hours and locations make care more accessible, and affordable membership plans and packages eliminate the need for insurance. With 370+ clinics nationwide and more than 4 million patient visits annually, The Joint is an emerging growth company and key leader in the chiropractic profession. For more information, visit www.thejoint.com or follow the brand on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Business Structure The Joint Corp. is a franchisor of clinics and an operator of clinics in certain states. In Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington, The Joint and its franchisees provide management services to affiliated professional chiropractic practices. This press release contains statements about future events and expectations that constitute forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of industry trends, our future financial and operating performance and our growth plans, taking into account the information currently available to us.  These statements are not statements of historical fact.  Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations of future results we express or imply in any forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on such statements.  Factors that could contribute to these differences include, but are not limited to, our failure to develop or acquire corporate clinics as rapidly as we intend, our failure to profitably operate corporate clinics, and the factors described in “Risk Factors” in The Joint Corp.’s 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K.  Words such as "anticipates", "believes", "continues", "estimates", "expects", "goal", "objectives", "intends", "may", "opportunity", "plans", "potential", "near-term", "long-term", "projections", "assumptions", "projects", "guidance", "forecasts", "outlook", "target", "trends", "should", "could", "would", "will" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. We qualify any forward-looking statements entirely by these cautionary factors.  We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.  Comparisons of results for current and any prior periods are not intended to express any future trends or indications of future performance, unless expressed as such, and should only be viewed as historical data.


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Joint Corp. (Nasdaq:JYNT), the fastest growing chiropractic franchise, recently announced aggressive expansion plans for the state of Washington, with goals to open more than 20 locations in the coming years. To facilitate this growth, The Joint welcomes Kevin Kelly, Fred Auzenne and Faith Clinkenbeard as the new regional developers for the state of Washington, excluding the Vancouver area and including Kootenai County, Idaho. The group will assist with upwards of 20 new clinics statewide in addition to helping support the existing three The Joint clinics located in the Seattle area. They also plan to open and manage multiple clinics themselves. The regional developer team is comprised of four partners who bring years of franchise ownership and experience in consulting and financial services. “We all love health and wellness membership-based businesses,” says Kelly. “The Joint has a simple business model that provides patients with quality care; I know, because I’ve been an extremely happy patient of The Joint for years.” The Joint’s concept is one Kelly and his business partners believe in. “The business model brings order and balance to the seemingly chaotic chiropractic industry,” Kelly explains. “The low-cost, high value proposition make it attractive for both the franchisee and the patient. Additionally, chiropractors finally have the opportunity to focus on what they love, relieving their patients of pain, without the many hassles of dealing with the insurance industry. Patients who want regular chiropractic care, but may not be able to afford maintenance care, will find The Joint as their answer.” Kelly is a former fighter pilot. He served a combined 25 years for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force. In addition to being a multi-unit operator for Planet Fitness locations in Washington and Arizona, Kelly works with many large companies and is a leadership/management consultant. Auzenne has a strong history as an entrepreneur. He’s currently involved in several ventures, including managing an Entrepreneur Opportunity Fund that initiates debt and equity placements into small and medium-sized stage companies, investing in commercial real estate projects and consulting with small business startups. He also serves as chief executive officer of The Legacy Group and Quantum Wellness Botanical Institute and the chief revenue officer of Flipping Wall Street. The Legacy Group offers comprehensive sales and marketing consulting services for businesses that want to use franchising as their business model for expansion, while Flipping Wall Street is a technology and marketing company specializing in stock trading software and Quantum Wellness Botanical Institute sells plant-based nutritional supplements. Clinkenbeard has a background as a restaurateur with the Maestros Group with a heavy focus on management and customer service. She was drawn to The Joint because the concept is one that aligns with her personal values of helping people. Clinkenbeard is originally from Bellevue, Washington. About The Joint Corp. (NASDAQ:JYNT) Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, The Joint is reinventing chiropractic by making quality care convenient and affordable for patients seeking pain relief and ongoing wellness. A no-appointment policy and convenient hours and locations make care more accessible, and affordable membership plans and packages eliminate the need for insurance. With 370+ clinics nationwide and more than 4 million patient visits annually, The Joint is an emerging growth company and key leader in the chiropractic profession. For more information, visit www.thejoint.com or follow the brand on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Business Structure The Joint Corp. is a franchisor of clinics and an operator of clinics in certain states. In Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington, The Joint and its franchisees provide management services to affiliated professional chiropractic practices. This press release contains statements about future events and expectations that constitute forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of industry trends, our future financial and operating performance and our growth plans, taking into account the information currently available to us.  These statements are not statements of historical fact.  Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations of future results we express or imply in any forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on such statements.  Factors that could contribute to these differences include, but are not limited to, our failure to develop or acquire corporate clinics as rapidly as we intend, our failure to profitably operate corporate clinics, and the factors described in “Risk Factors” in The Joint Corp.’s 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K.  Words such as "anticipates", "believes", "continues", "estimates", "expects", "goal", "objectives", "intends", "may", "opportunity", "plans", "potential", "near-term", "long-term", "projections", "assumptions", "projects", "guidance", "forecasts", "outlook", "target", "trends", "should", "could", "would", "will" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. We qualify any forward-looking statements entirely by these cautionary factors.  We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.  Comparisons of results for current and any prior periods are not intended to express any future trends or indications of future performance, unless expressed as such, and should only be viewed as historical data.


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., May 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Joint Corp. (Nasdaq:JYNT), the fastest growing chiropractic franchise, recently announced aggressive expansion plans for the state of Washington, with goals to open more than 20 locations in the coming years. To facilitate this growth, The Joint welcomes Kevin Kelly, Fred Auzenne and Faith Clinkenbeard as the new regional developers for the state of Washington, excluding the Vancouver area and including Kootenai County, Idaho. The group will assist with upwards of 20 new clinics statewide in addition to helping support the existing three The Joint clinics located in the Seattle area. They also plan to open and manage multiple clinics themselves. The regional developer team is comprised of four partners who bring years of franchise ownership and experience in consulting and financial services. “We all love health and wellness membership-based businesses,” says Kelly. “The Joint has a simple business model that provides patients with quality care; I know, because I’ve been an extremely happy patient of The Joint for years.” The Joint’s concept is one Kelly and his business partners believe in. “The business model brings order and balance to the seemingly chaotic chiropractic industry,” Kelly explains. “The low-cost, high value proposition make it attractive for both the franchisee and the patient. Additionally, chiropractors finally have the opportunity to focus on what they love, relieving their patients of pain, without the many hassles of dealing with the insurance industry. Patients who want regular chiropractic care, but may not be able to afford maintenance care, will find The Joint as their answer.” Kelly is a former fighter pilot. He served a combined 25 years for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force. In addition to being a multi-unit operator for Planet Fitness locations in Washington and Arizona, Kelly works with many large companies and is a leadership/management consultant. Auzenne has a strong history as an entrepreneur. He’s currently involved in several ventures, including managing an Entrepreneur Opportunity Fund that initiates debt and equity placements into small and medium-sized stage companies, investing in commercial real estate projects and consulting with small business startups. He also serves as chief executive officer of The Legacy Group and Quantum Wellness Botanical Institute and the chief revenue officer of Flipping Wall Street. The Legacy Group offers comprehensive sales and marketing consulting services for businesses that want to use franchising as their business model for expansion, while Flipping Wall Street is a technology and marketing company specializing in stock trading software and Quantum Wellness Botanical Institute sells plant-based nutritional supplements. Clinkenbeard has a background as a restaurateur with the Maestros Group with a heavy focus on management and customer service. She was drawn to The Joint because the concept is one that aligns with her personal values of helping people. Clinkenbeard is originally from Bellevue, Washington. About The Joint Corp. (NASDAQ:JYNT) Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, The Joint is reinventing chiropractic by making quality care convenient and affordable for patients seeking pain relief and ongoing wellness. A no-appointment policy and convenient hours and locations make care more accessible, and affordable membership plans and packages eliminate the need for insurance. With 370+ clinics nationwide and more than 4 million patient visits annually, The Joint is an emerging growth company and key leader in the chiropractic profession. For more information, visit www.thejoint.com or follow the brand on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Business Structure The Joint Corp. is a franchisor of clinics and an operator of clinics in certain states. In Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington, The Joint and its franchisees provide management services to affiliated professional chiropractic practices. This press release contains statements about future events and expectations that constitute forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of industry trends, our future financial and operating performance and our growth plans, taking into account the information currently available to us.  These statements are not statements of historical fact.  Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations of future results we express or imply in any forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on such statements.  Factors that could contribute to these differences include, but are not limited to, our failure to develop or acquire corporate clinics as rapidly as we intend, our failure to profitably operate corporate clinics, and the factors described in “Risk Factors” in The Joint Corp.’s 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K.  Words such as "anticipates", "believes", "continues", "estimates", "expects", "goal", "objectives", "intends", "may", "opportunity", "plans", "potential", "near-term", "long-term", "projections", "assumptions", "projects", "guidance", "forecasts", "outlook", "target", "trends", "should", "could", "would", "will" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. We qualify any forward-looking statements entirely by these cautionary factors.  We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.  Comparisons of results for current and any prior periods are not intended to express any future trends or indications of future performance, unless expressed as such, and should only be viewed as historical data.


Shahriari M.,Botanical Institute | Richter K.,Botanical Institute | Keshavaiah C.,Botanical Institute | Keshavaiah C.,University College Cork | And 3 more authors.
Plant Molecular Biology | Year: 2011

In yeast, endosomal sorting of monoubiquitylated transmembrane proteins is performed by a subset of the 19 "class E vacuolar protein sorting" proteins. The core machinery consists of 11 proteins that are organised in three complexes termed ESCRT I-III (endosomal sorting complex required for transport I-III) and is conserved in eukaryotic cells. While the pathway is well understood in yeast and animals, the plant ESCRT system is largely unexplored. At least one sequence homolog for each ESCRT component can be found in the Arabidopsis genome. Generally, sequence conservation between yeast/animals and the Arabidopsis proteins is low. To understand details about participating proteins and complex organization we have performed a systematic pairwise yeast two hybrid analysis of all Arabidopsis proteins showing homology to the ESCRT core machinery. Positive interactions were validated using bimolecular fluorescence complementation. In our experiments, most putative ESCRT components exhibited interactions with other ESCRT components that could be shown to occur on endosomes suggesting that despite their low homology to their yeast and animal counterparts they represent functional components of the plant ESCRT pathway. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Spallek T.,Norwich Research Park | Spallek T.,RIKEN | Beck M.,Norwich Research Park | Ben Khaled S.,Norwich Research Park | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2013

The plant immune receptor FLAGELLIN SENSING 2 (FLS2) is present at the plasma membrane and is internalized following activation of its ligand flagellin (flg22). We show that ENDOSOMAL SORTING COMPLEX REQUIRED FOR TRANSPORT (ESCRT)-I subunits play roles in FLS2 endocytosis in Arabidopsis. VPS37-1 co-localizes with FLS2 at endosomes and immunoprecipitates with the receptor upon flg22 elicitation. Vps37-1 mutants are reduced in flg22-induced FLS2 endosomes but not in endosomes labeled by Rab5 GTPases suggesting a defect in FLS2 trafficking rather than formation of endosomes. FLS2 localizes to the lumen of multivesicular bodies, but this is altered in vps37-1 mutants indicating compromised endosomal sorting of FLS2 by ESCRT-I loss-of-function. VPS37-1 and VPS28-2 are critical for immunity against bacterial infection through a role in stomatal closure. Our findings identify that VPS37-1, and likewise VPS28-2, regulate late FLS2 endosomal sorting and reveals that ESCRT-I is critical for flg22-activated stomatal defenses involved in plant immunity. © 2013 Spallek et al.


News Article | October 13, 2016
Site: phys.org

Under the microscope (confocal microscopy): The AM fungus (green) reaches the inner root cortex and forms arbuscules (s. arrow; tree-like structure, Latin arbor = tree). Credit: Carolin Heck/KIT Many fungi damage or even kill plants. But there are also plant-friendly fungi: Most land plants live in close community with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AM fungi) that stimulate their growth. Researchers of the "Molecular Phytopathology" Group of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) study the development of this symbiosis. The scientists have now identified a gene that is specifically activated by AM fungi and influences the development of the plant root: The GRAS transcription factor MIG1 stimulates growth of more and larger root cortex cells. This is reported by the researchers in Current Biology. Most land plants live in symbiosis with AM fungi. Both sides profit: The AM fungi help the plants extract nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphate, and water, from the ground, protect them against pests, and stimulate plant growth by influencing root development. In return, the plants supply the AM fungi with carbohydrates produced by photosynthesis. Symbiosis enhances growth and health of the plants even under adverse conditions of nutrient-depleted soil and stress. Controlled cultivation of plants in symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi might help reduce the amount of fertilizers and pesticides needed and, thus, contribute to sustainable agriculture. But how does the plant make friends with fungi? This question is studied by scientists of the "Molecular Phytopathology" Group headed by Professor Natalia Requena of KIT's Botanical Institute. Their fundamental research focuses on molecular processes associated with symbiosis. For the stimulation of plant growth by root development, the scientists have identified a plant gene that is activated specifically by the AM fungi – the GRAS transcription factor MIG1. It determines the size of the root cortex cells. Using Medicago truncatula, a snail clover species, KIT scientists studied the role of MIG1. They report their findings in the Current Biology journal. "Development of symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi requires plants to adapt in an extraordinary and controlled way," Professor Natalia Requena explains. "The plant activates its genetic programs for such a symbiosis even before its first physical contact with the fungus as soon as it receives a signaling substance emitted by the fungus." Then, development of symbiosis is mainly controlled by the plant. Settlement of AM fungi on plant roots is restricted to the epidermal tissue and cortex. Hyphae (cellular threads) of the fungus penetrate deep into the cortex and form widely branched structures, so-called arbuscules. The plant forms a specifically synthesized periarbuscular membrane (PAM) to enclose the arbuscules. Plant-specific proteins of the GRAS protein family take over major functions in the regulation of root colonization and the formation of arbuscules. They act as transcription factors that control, i.e. switch on or off, the activity of other genes. The protein RAM1, for instance, enables branching of arbuscules, RAD1 maintains them, and NSP1, NSP2, and DIP1 control the general colonization process. The researchers working in the group of Professor Natalia Requena identified the transcription factor MIG1 (Mycorrhiza Induced GRAS 1). It is expressed most strongly in cells containing arbuscules. MIG1 significantly modifies root cortex development by stimulating growth of more and larger root cortex cells. The overall diameter of the roots increases considerably. Vice versa, downregulation of MIG1 leads to malformed arbuscules. Explore further: Symbiosis with mycorrhizal fungi provides plants with enhanced access to scarce resources More information: Carolin Heck et al. Symbiotic Fungi Control Plant Root Cortex Development through the Novel GRAS Transcription Factor MIG1, Current Biology (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.07.059


News Article | April 21, 2016
Site: phys.org

Made by KIT: The microfluidic bioreactor technically reproduces plant tissue. The researchers now start a new project to make the next step. Credit: KIT Plants produce a number of substances that can be used to treat cancer, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. Frequently, however, metabolic pathways to obtain the target substance are so complex that its biotechnological production is hardly effective and very expensive. Scientists of KIT now combine their expertise with the technical know-how of Phyton Biotech GmbH, the biggest producer of pharmaceutical ingredients with plant cells. With the help of a microfluidic bioreactor consisting of coupled modules, the scientists technically reproduce complex plant tissue to produce active substances against cancer or Alzheimer's disease more effectively and at lower costs. According to latest estimates, plants form about a million chemical substances, so-called secondary metabolites. Unlike amino acids or sugar, these secondary metabolites are not of vital importance. However, this vast pool of plant products contains a true treasure of pharmaceutically active substances that inhibit the growth of cancer cells or reduce the formation of Alzheimer-typical plaques in the brain. Many of these valuable ingredients cannot be produced synthetically. Often, they have to be extracted directly from wild plants and processed at high costs. Moreover, many of these plants are rare and endangered: For instance, the discovery of Taxol inhibiting cancer cells brought the Pacific yew to the brink of extermination. "For this reason, biotechnological approaches to producing the respective active substances are of high interest," Peter Nick, Professor for Molecular Cell Biology of KIT's Botanical Institute, says. Often, underlying metabolic pathways are highly complex. In the natural plant, the substance of interest mostly is the product of a long chain of steps with many converted interim products. The chemical processes required for this purpose do not necessarily take place in a single plant cell, but in several specialized cell types found in the plant tissue from the root to the leaf. Many years ago, Phyton demonstrated that plant-based medical substances, such as Taxol, can also be produced with minimum resources and sustainably by the cultivation of plant cells in the lab. "Certain substances, however, can be produced neither in a simple cell culture nor in microorganisms manipulated by genetic engineering, because metabolic pathways are too complex," Peter Nick says. "Within the framework of a new research project, we now want to technically reproduce plant tissue with various cell types using a so-called microfluidic bioreactor. It consists of several modules, in which one cell type each is cultivated. The modules are connected via channels. Metabolic products of one cell type then enter the next module for further processing without the different cell types being mixed. In the end, the target substance can be extracted from the flow and, hence, "harvested". The project is managed by the Jülich Project Management Agency (PtJ) and funded with EUR 750,000 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for a period of two years. The project partners are the Botanical Institute and the Institute of Microstructure Technology (both of KIT) and the company Phyton Biotech GmbH. Together, the three partners possess the expertise required for the project. The Botanical Institute contributes its knowledge of molecular cellular biology of plant cell cultures. Professor Andreas Guber and Dr. Ralf Ahrens of the Institute of Microstructure Technology are responsible for the development and fabrication of partial components of microfluidic bioreactors, their microassembly, and interconnection to a functioning system. The industry partner Phyton Biotech GmbH is a worldwide leading company in the area of plant cell fermentation and supplies the expertise and infrastructure needed to analyze potential applications on the industrial scale. "Cooperation with the experts of KIT will allow us to reach a new level of use of plant cells produced by controlled cultivation," Dr. Gilbert Gorr, Research and Development Director of Phyton, says. "Our joint objective is to make further natural substances accessible, which so far have been produced with large difficulties and high costs only." Phyton Biotech produces high-quality active pharmaceutical ingredients by plant cell fermentation (PCF) and is worldwide supplier of Paclitaxel and Docetaxel. The company has been inspected successfully by authorities, such as EDQM, EMA, FDA, KFDA, and TGA. Apart from production, Phyton also offers development services for customers. These cover the development of plant cell lines and fermentation processes for plant ingredients as well as the development of synthesis processes of complex substances. Explore further: Plant growth without light control: Synthetic photoreceptor stimulates germination and development


Stockinger H.,CNRS Agroecology Lab | Peyret-Guzzon M.,CNRS Agroecology Lab | Koegel S.,Botanical Institute | Bouffaud M.-L.,CNRS Agroecology Lab | Redecker D.,CNRS Agroecology Lab
PloS one | Year: 2014

Due to the potential of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF, Glomeromycota) to improve plant growth and soil quality, the influence of agricultural practice on their diversity continues to be an important research question. Up to now studies of community diversity in AMF have exclusively been based on nuclear ribosomal gene regions, which in AMF show high intra-organism polymorphism, seriously complicating interpretation of these data. We designed specific PCR primers for 454 sequencing of a region of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II gene, and established a new reference dataset comprising all major AMF lineages. This gene is known to be monomorphic within fungal isolates but shows an excellent barcode gap between species. We designed a primer set to amplify all known lineages of AMF and demonstrated its applicability in combination with high-throughput sequencing in a long-term tillage experiment. The PCR primers showed a specificity of 99.94% for glomeromycotan sequences. We found evidence of significant shifts of the AMF communities caused by soil management and showed that tillage effects on different AMF taxa are clearly more complex than previously thought. The high resolving power of high-throughput sequencing highlights the need for quantitative measurements to efficiently detect these effects.


News Article | December 8, 2016
Site: phys.org

"To cope with changed requirements on agriculture, development of new plant species is indispensable. For this, we need a better understanding of important crops, such as rice that is considered the most important source of food worldwide," Dr. Michael Riemann of the Molecular Cell Biology Division of KIT's Botanical Institute explains. Together with the startup da-cons, he developed the RiSeGrAn (Rice Seedlings Growth Analysis) system that analyzes the growth of rice seedlings. By comparing genetically different species, conclusions can be drawn with respect to the function of certain genes for resistance against a variety of stress factors. As research concentrates on the first phases of seedling development, gene variations can be classified more quickly. The system uses an infrared camera to take photos of plant seedlings growing in darkness. "At first, the seedlings have to grow in the dark for them to become highly sensitive to light. Then, we can measure the effect of the light on the seedlings," Riemann explains. In the next step, the system evaluates the photos automatically. The system is accommodated in a box of 50 times 50 centimeters in dimension. The interior is illuminated by 20 infrared LEDs. "The seedlings change their appearance depending on whether they grow in the dark or in light. However, the system is to observe the plants and not to influence them. For this reason, the box is designed to prevent visible light from falling on the seedlings," Riemann says. The seedlings are arranged in a sealed plate in water agar, a transparent nutrient medium that supplies the seedlings with water. For a detailed documentation of plant growth, the system takes a picture every hour for a period of ten days in a computer-controlled manner without a person having to look into the box. Algorithms developed by da-cons GmbH are used to determine from the photos the lengths of the shoot, the first leaf, and the root. In addition, the computer transmits the photos automatically to a server, where they can be look at by the researchers. "By means of the system, we can discover unknown properties of known genes. For example, we can precisely measure parameters, such as the time of germination or growth of certain tissues," Riemann explains. "Our measurements can support molecular biology studies by identifying the genes that make plants more resistant to certain stress factors, e.g. saline soils." In the next step, the developers of the RiSeGrAn project plan to establish an online OpenData platform based on the data collected. Scientists can then publish their data on this platform. OpenData means that raw data obtained from experiments are to be made available to other scientists. Researchers are enabled to check initial results or to study the data for certain characteristics. "Based on the data of the RiSeGrAn system, we can now test how to transfer them to the OpenData platform in the best way. In addition, we can estimate the required computer capacity and study various ways of presenting the results," Dr. Michael Kreim, Development Director of da-cons GmbH, says. "In general, technical background processes and the user interface can be developed better with realistic data than with test data." da-cons uses the data sets of the RiSeGrAn project to determine requirements to be met by the platform and to test the latter.

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