Entries by Alecia Biel

Synthetic hormone-responsive transcription factors can monitor an reprogram plant development

Development is driven by the activities of hormones which control expression of various traits. Modeling hormone pathways is complicated by extensive cross-talk, redundancy, and feedback loops. Khakhar et al. investigate the use of a technique known as Hormone Activated Cas9-based Repressors (HACRs) to alter specific hormone pathways in Arabidopsis. HACRs are modular in nature, allowing […]

Microtubule involvement in stomatal dynamics

Stomatal dynamics have been investigated in terms of ion exchange involvements, turgor pressure fluctuations, and transcriptional changes, particularly in response to environmental stresses. However, the involvement of the cytoskeleton during this process, particularly concerning the role of microtubules (MTs), is a relatively new field of study. Qu et al. investigated the role of MTs in […]

Chromatin region accessibility: cross-species comparisons and cell type distinctions

Cis-regulatory elements direct transcriptional output during cell differentiation and coordinate adaptive responses to environmental stress. DNA becomes open and accessible when nucleosomes are displaced by DNA-binding proteins, indicating a correlation between open chromatin regions and transcriptional regulation. Utilizing four different plant species and several distinct methods (i.e. INTACT for nuclei isolation and ATAC-seq for open […]

Review. Katanin: A sword that cuts microtubules for cellular, developmental, and physiological purposes

KATANIN is a AAA ATPase protein which, according to the most recent models, is able to track along microtubules (MTs) and sever emergent γ-TUBULIN and AUGMIN-nucleated MTs. This severing event occurs at MT cross-over areas, particularly where there are MT lattice defects, promoting disassembly of unfavorable MT orientation and mediating MT reorientation. Inducible overexpression of […]

The tomato DELLA protein PROCERA acts in guard cells to promote stomatal closure

Nuclear accumulation of DELLA proteins induces transcriptional reprogramming and is well known to suppress the gibberellin (GA) pathway. While DELLAs can negatively regulate GA, increased GA levels can also signal DELLA degradation. GA is a growth-regulating hormone that is also involved in inhibiting the stress-signaling hormone ABA, but the mechanism behind this action is unclear. […]

The kinase ERULUS controls pollen tube targeting and growth in Arabidopsis thaliana

Pollen cells have a fascinating ability to transform from a small spherical cell to a very elongated shape known as the pollen tube (PT) during fertilization. Pollen cells must navigate through the female tissue, find an ovary, and burst to release the two sperm cell nuclei as well as the vegetative nucleus, a process dependent […]

Chromatin accessibility changes between Arabidopsis stem cells and mesophyll cells illuminate cell type-specific

What gives stem cells their plasticity and why are differentiated cells so specialized? Sijacic et al. approach this question by analyzing transcription factor (TF) accessibility to chromatin. Nuclei were isolated from shoot apical meristem (SAM) pluripotent stem cells and fully-differentiated mesophyll cells (using the INTACT technique) to assess chromatin dynamics and transcription factor regulation (ATAC-seq […]

Members of the abscisic acid co-receptor PP2C protein family mediate salicylic acid-abscisic acid crosstalk

If we know anything about how ABA regulates plant response to environmental stresses it is that the pathway if very complicated and anything but straightforward. The ‘core’ ABA pathway is activated by first inhibiting a specific class of protein phosphatases, PP2Cs. This inhibition of PP2Cs allows for activation of downstream factors and induction of the […]