Entries by Benjamin Jin

Identification of a unique ZIP transporter involved in zinc uptake via the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal pathway (bioRxiv)

Last week, PSRW presented two review papers regarding host plant interactions with microbial populations, particularly for plant nutrient intake. Watt-Williams et al. utilize such knowledge for their paper, performing an RNA-seq dataset to identify a novel zinc transporter in Medicago truncatula. Zinc is a vital nutrient; its uptake in plants is commonly facilitated via associations […]

Review. The soil-borne identity and microbiome-assisted agriculture: Looking back to the future (Molecular Plant)

Bakker et al. begin their review of plant-soil microbiome concepts with a Lorentz Hiltner quote from 1904: “However, I am convinced that soil bacteriology will finally provide results that are not only of explanatory nature, but will also directly affect and determine agricultural practice… I would like to state from the very first, that… the […]

Review: Coumarin communication along the microbiome-root-shoot axis (Trends Plant Sci.)

As the realm of microbiology expands, we see increasing ways in which eukaryotes depend on their microbiomes. For instance, in animals, the “microbiome-gut-brain axis” connects gut microbiota and the nervous system and influences a range of activities from digestion to mental health. Stassen et al. build a parallel to plants, defining the “microbiome-root-shoot axis” in […]

Roles for this ROP GTPase in subcellular and tissue-level patterning (Plant Cell)

Rho-of-plants (ROP) proteins are master regulators of cell polarity within plants and influence cell wall deposition, tissue development, and several signaling processes. However, they are quite difficult to study: attempts to form a fluorescent ROP fusion protein have proven elusive, and there are multiple functionally redundant ROP family members in seed plants, whereas Physcomitrium patens […]

Origins and evolution of cuticle biosynthetic machinery in land plants (Plant Physiology)

The availability of annotated genomes for a wide range of plants allows for tremendous opportunity to perform comparative genomics studies such as that carried out by Kong et al. detailing the evolution of cuticle biosynthesis. The cuticle is the waxy hydrophobic layer that protects aerial plant tissue from dehydration and environmental stresses. Its synthesis involves […]

More than photosynthesis: The chloroplast’s role in plant cell defense pathways ($) (Cell)

Chloroplasts are involved in various plant cell functions outside of photosynthesis including defense activation. How is the chloroplast able to do so? In this study, Medina-Puche et al. characterized the molecular function and cellular localization of the Tomato yellow leaf curl virus-derived C4 protein. The authors show that when expressed in plant cells, the protein […]

Molecular regulation of meristem development in liverworts (Curr. Biol.)

Plants grow through meristems, pools of undifferentiated cells that produce and develop into all varieties of cell types. Flowering plants such as Arabidopsis regulate meristematic cell division through CLAVATA3/EMBRYOSURROUNDING REGION-related (CLE) peptide signaling, but the molecular mechanisms in which this regulation is performed in land plant ancestors have yet to be fully uncovered. Hirakawa et […]

A protein engineering approach for elucidating receptor protein signaling function (Plant Cell)

Plant cells express an array of membrane-bound receptor proteins that recognize and respond to extracellular cues. However, their varied structure/specificity and methods of activation pose challenges in assessing their function. Focusing on Leucine-Rich Repeat Receptor Kinases (LRR-RKs), Hohmann et al. used a protein engineering approach to generate chimeras for functional elucidation. Many LRR-RKs require association […]

Friend vs. foe: molecular insight towards microbial recognition and specificity in legume signaling (Science)

Ecosystems are founded by relationships between organisms, such as the mutualism between plants and microbes. An example is the agriculturally important symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria that reside in nodules of legumes. Legumes must be able to differentiate, through undetermined mechanisms, between symbiotic and pathogenic microbes. Boszoki et al. set out to elucidate the […]