Identification of novel growth regulators in plant populations expressing random peptides

Knowing that many small molecules act as growth regulators, chemical genomics endeavors to identify novel growth-regulating compounds through screening thousands of randomly generated molecules. Knowing that many peptides also act as growth regulators, Bao et al. used a similar approach to look for novel growth regulating peptides. The expressed small peptides of random sequence (potentially cyclizable thorough terminal Cys residues) in transgenic plants and looked for growth alterations. Peptides affecting sucrose-independent growth, red light responses and time of flowering, as well as other effects, were identified, demonstrating the feasibility of this approach for identifying novel bioactive peptides. Plant Physiol.