Entries by Arun Shanker

Potential evidence for transgenerational epigenetic memory in Arabidopsis thaliana following spaceflight (Commun. Biol.)

Transgenerational memory can occur through epigenetic regulation of gene expression (for example through DNA methylation) when plants have been exposed to abiotic stresses. Transferring a specific biochemical adaption to the next generation of plants can help the plant counter stress. Here Xu et al. profiled DNA methylation pattern in Arabidopsis seedlings following spaceflight to determine […]

Structural insights into photosystem II assembly (Nature Plants)

Photosystem II is a multisubunit enzyme complex in the thylakoid membranes of plant, algae, and cyanobacteria. Here, Zebret et al. used cryo-electron microscopy to produce high-resolution structural information of the intermediate complexes involved in the biogenesis and assembly of photosystem II from the cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus. This study shows how the spatiotemporally synchronized biogenesis process […]

Review: Improving crop yield and resilience through photosynthesis optimisation: panacea or pipe dream? (J. Exp. Bot.)

Has crop photosynthesis research been successful for increasing yields? This very crucial question is analyzed in a new review by Araus et al. The authors report that there has been no increase that can be described as a “quantum leap,” but they discuss the merits of increasing leaf photosynthesis and the possibility of translating these […]

A molecular timescale for eukaryote evolution with implications for the origin of red algal-derived plastids (Nature Comms)

Algae powered by red algal-derived plastids (e.g., diatoms, dinoflagellates, and coccolithophores) are among the most evolutionary and ecologically successful eukaryotes on Earth, but their origins and relationships remain poorly understood. Here, Strassert et al. test the rhodoplex hypothesis that designates an evolutionary scenario in which plastids were acquired from red algae by a single secondary […]

The structure of a triple complex of plant photosystem I with ferredoxin and plastocyanin (Nature Plants)

Photosystem I (PSI) is a membrane-bound protein complex that plays a central role in the conversion of solar energy to chemical energy to drive assimilate production.  Photosystem I is an enzyme complex that transfers electrons from plastocyanin (Pc) to ferredoxin (Fd). Here Caspy et al. have characterized a high-resolution ultrastructure of the entire complex, PSI […]

Highly efficient DNA-free plant genome editing using virally delivered CRISPR–Cas9 (Nature Plants)

CRISPR-Cas is a revolutionary technology that has taken the science of genetic manipulation to higher levels by leaps and bounds. In spite of the ease with which it is used for genome editing, the present delivery methods are not without shortcomings; undesirable effects on non-target regions and possible damage to the genome must be addressed. […]

Review: Applications of CRISPR–Cas in agriculture and plant biotechnology (Nature Rev. Mol. Cell Biol.)

This week’s announcement of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry being awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing” comes as no surprise to many. CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)– Cas (CRISPR-associated protein) is a phage immunity system in archaea and bacteria. The system is […]

Ligand-induced monoubiquitination of BIK1 regulates plant immunity (Nature)

The plant immune system has been a keenly researched area in plant sciences in the past decade. Elicitors present in microbes are compounds that induce response from plants when under attack. These elicitors are conserved in many pathogens and are called microbe associated molecular patterns (MAMPs). Pattern recognition receptors form the first line of defense […]

Extensive inter-plant protein transfer between Cuscuta parasites and their host plants (Mol. Plant)

Cuscuta (dodders) are parasites that survive on other host plants.Liu et al. found more than 1500 proteins are transferred between Cucuta and host plants forming a sort of interplant chemical communication. Furthermore, proteins could move between two hosts that are connected by dodder bridges, and retain their activity in the foreign plants. These transferred proteins […]