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Pelaez-Cristobal, R. (Rafael); Niculcea, M.; Martínez-Hernández, J. (José Alfredo). "The mammalian peptide adrenomedullin acts as a growth factor in tobacco plants". Frontiers in Physiology. 8, 2017, 219
Growth factors are extracellular signals that regulate cell proliferation and total body mass. Some animal growth factors can work on plant tissues and vice versa. Here we show that the mammalian growth factor adrenomedullin (AM) induces growth in tobacco plants. Addition of synthetic AM resulted in a dose-dependent growth of tobacco calluses. Furthermore, AM transgenic plants showed enhanced survival and significant increases in stem diameter, plant height, leaf length, weight of all organs, and a reduction in the time to flowering when compared to plants transformed with the control vector. These differences were maintained when organs were dried, resulting in a mean total biomass increase of 21.3%. The levels of soluble sugars and proteins in the leaves were unchanged between genotypes. AM transgenic plants had a significantly higher expression of cyclin D3 and the transcription factor E2FB than controls, suggesting that cell cycle regulation may be part of the intracellular signaling of AM in plants. In summary, mammalian AM increases vascular plants' survival and biomass with no apparent detriment of plant's morphological and/or biochemical properties, thus this strategy could be useful for crop productivity improvement.