Entries by Arif Ashraf

The Arabidopsis receptor kinase IRK is polarized and represses specific cell division (Devel. Cell) ($)

Orientation of cell division decides daughter cell fate and is fundamentally important for tissue patterning and morphology. For instance, asymmetric cell division leads to the generation of new cell types; in contrast, symmetric division produces cells with similar identity in a proliferative manner. Campos et al. studied proteins involved in tissue patterning in Arabidopsis thaliana […]

ATP binding cassette proteins ABCG37 and ABCG33 are required for potassium-independent cesium uptake in Arabidopsis roots (bioRxiv)

Potassium is one of the major nutrients for plant growth and development. Plants have a well-studied potassium uptake system mediated by transporters and ion channels. Unfortunately, due to the chemical similarity of potassium and cesium, which is toxic for plant growth, cesium is able to to get into the plant system and eventually into our […]

Plant Science Research Weekly: October 11

This week’s Plant Science Research Weekly is guest edited by Arif Ashraf. He is a postdoc at Facette lab in the University of Massachusetts Amherst and his research focus is deciphering the asymmetric cell division during stomatal development. He is working as an ASPB ambassador, Plantae Fellow, Co-founder of Plant Postdoc Slack and science writer […]

BZU2/ZmMUTE controls symmetrical division of guard mother cell and specifies neighbor cell fate in maize (OA) (PLOS Genetics)

Stomatal development has been studied thoroughly in the dicot model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, but stomatal development fundamentally differs between dicot and monocot for the subsidiary cells, a pair of dumbbell-shaped cells adjacent to the guard cell, formation. In this study, Wang et al., identified an EMS mutation, bzu2-1, in maize which lacks subsidiary cells and […]

Nuclear-cytoplasmic partitioning of ARF proteins controls auxin responses ($) (Mol Cell)

ARF (Auxin Response Factor) transcription factor proteins contain three domains: an N-terminal DNA-binding domain, a variable middle region, and a C-terminal PB1 domain. Powers et al. found that ARF7 and ARF19 accumulate as large-order assemblies in the cytoplasmic region of mature root cells, but the cytoplasmic signal disappears in the actively dividing cells. They showed […]

Science Blog: Reflection of Yourself

Part of the “Self Reflection” series by and for early-career researchers In the era of digital media, science communication has advanced in an unprecedented way. Several years ago, we used to subscribe printed magazines and journals. Scientists prefer to subscribe digital version of magazines, journals and blogs these days as it provides instant access. Digital […]

Evolution of fast root gravitropism in seed plants (Nature Comms)

Plants’ invasion of land was accompanied by the evolution of a root system which in seed plants includes a fast gravitropic response. Gravitropism occurs through three distinct steps – (1) gravity perception by dense starch-filled amyloplasts, (2) transmission of gravitropic signal by auxin through auxin influx (AUX1/LAX) and efflux (PIN) carriers, (3) gravity-stimulated root growth […]

Cytoskeleton dynamics necessary for early events of lateral root initiation (Curr. Biol.)

Symmetric cell division leads to proliferation, and asymmetric cell division establishes differential growth. Formation of lateral roots (LRs) depends on asymmetric division of initially symmetric founder cells. Barro et al. studied the mechanism of asymmetric radial expansion by analyzing cytoskeleton dynamics using mutants, pharmacological drugs, and tissue-specific perturbation. They expressed MAP4 (MICROTUBULE-ASSOCIATED PROTEIN4) specifically in […]

Cytokinin functions as an asymmetric and anti-gravitropic signal in lateral roots (Nature Comms)

Lateral roots help plants to explore the soil and environmental conditions. Waidmann et al. took advantage of natural variants to understand lateral growth angle by analyzing gravitropic set point angle (GSA). Using Col-0 as a reference, lines that over- or under-respond (steeper or shallower root angle) were identified. From their genome-wide association study, the authors […]