Entries by Arif Ashraf

Natural variation identifies a Pxy gene controlling vascular organization and formation of nodules and lateral roots in Lotus japonicus (New Phytol.)

Symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria such as Mesorhizobium loti requires an exchange of signals. Plants recognize both specific nod factors (lipochitooligosaccharides) as well as cell-surface exopolysaccharides through distinct pathways. The M. loti exoU mutant fails to properly form exopolysaccharides, and infection fails at the infection thread stage. However, natural variation among accessions of Lotus […]

Enhancing grain-yield-related traits by CRISPR-Cas9 promoter editing of maize CLE genes (Nature Plants)

During domestication of maize, one of the favorable traits was meristem size. Understanding the genetic circuit of maize meristem development and engineering for crop productivity are important from an agricultural perspective. In this article, Lie et al. used CRISPR-Cas9 to edit the promoter regions of ZmCLE7 (ZmCLAVATA3/EMBRYO SURROUNDING REGION-RELATED7), ZmFCP1 (ZmFON2-LIKE CLE PROTEIN1) and coding […]

PIN FORMED 2 modulates the transport of arsenite in Arabidopsis thaliana (Plant Comms.)

PIN FORMED (PIN) proteins are known for their directional auxin transport capacity. Ashraf et al. found that auxin transporter PINs have sequence similarity to bacterial arsenite transporter arsB, yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae arsenite transporter SsAcr3, and arsenic hyperaccumulator fern Pteris vittata transporter PvAcr3, indicating that AtPIN2 is a possible arsenite efflux carrier. The authors found that […]

GOLVEN peptide signaling through RGI receptors and MPK6 restricts asymmetric cell division during root initiation (Nature Plants)

Lateral root starts development starts with an asymmetric cell division in the founder cell. In this study, Fernandez et al. explored the role of peptide signaling this process. The authors started with the previous finding that GOLVEN peptides are involved in lateral root initiation, as overexpression of GLV6 causes a strong reduction in number of […]

Endosidin20 targets the cellulose synthase catalytic domain to inhibit cellulose biosynthesis (Plant Cell)

Cellulose is an indispensable component of plant cell wall formation. Cellulose is synthesized at the plasma membrane by a cellulose synthase complex (CSC) made up of at least 18 monomeric cellulose synthases (CESAs). In this study, Huang et al. used a chemical genetic approach to explore the structure and function of the cellulose synthase complex. […]

Mechanical shielding in plant nuclei (Curr. Biol.)

The nucleus is an organelle with tremendous shape flexibility in response to environmental cues; it has been described as the “plastic, elastic, and fantastic” organelle. The change in nuclear geometry based on mechanical stress is well documented from single cell studies in culture, but the question remains of how the nuclear geometry alters due to […]

Aquaporins act in concert to regulate cold acclimation and freezing tolerance (Plant Cell Physiol.)

Aquaporins, also known as plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIP), are a large group of transporters that facilitate water transport through membranes. In this article, Rahman et al. explored the role of aquaporins in the cold stress response. They found that two aquaporin genes, PIP1;4 and PIP2;5, have increased expression in cold-acclimated plants compared to non-acclimated […]

Structural evolution drives diversification of the large LRR-RLK gene family (New Phytol)

Leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs) act as signaling receptors, are the largest plant-specific protein kinase family, and are involved in myriad developmental activities and defense systems. Due to the large number of proteins in this group, their diversification and consequent redundancy have made it difficult to functionally characterize single mutants. To circumvent this issue, Man […]

The γ-tubulin complex protein GCP6 in crucial for spindle morphogenesis but not essential for microtubule reorganization in Arabidopsis (OA)

During cell division, cells require to form mitotic spindle and these mitotic spindles are basically newly formed microtubules. The formation of new microtubules depends on γ-tubulin. Along with 5 GPCs (γ-tubulin protein complex), γ-tubulin form γTuRC (γ-tubulin ring complex) and it facilitates the microtubule nucleation. Interestingly, in plant cells, microtubules are nucleated and organized without […]