Entries by Benjamin Jin

Increasing the resilience of plant immunity to a warming climate (Nature)

Plants demonstrate increased susceptibility to pathogens upon exposure to heat stress, apparently due to suppressed salicylic acid (SA) accumulation and subsequently decreased effector-triggered immunity. How exactly does heat stress cause this suppression, and how can we take advantage of genetics to increase plant resilience? Kim et al. discovered that heat stress acts on SA immunity […]

A robust mechanism for resetting juvenility during each generation in Arabidopsis (Nature Plants)

Proper development requires an aging program that is regulated throughout the entire lifespan of an organism as well as across generations. In plants, reproductive cells are derived from differentiated cells, and thus the aging program encoded in these reproductive cells must be rejuvenated per generation. So, how exactly is the cycling of this program controlled? […]

Allelic shift in cis-elements of the transcription factor gene RAP2.12 underlies adaptation associated with humidity in Arabidopsis thaliana (Science Adv)

To better understand plant responses to different environments, Lou et al. compared Arabidopsis thaliana accessions derived from Sichuan (high precipitation/regular flooding) and Tibet (arid) to isolate genetic adaptations towards flooding stress. The two accessions showed divergent phenotypes: the Sichuan accession was able to recover much more effectively after submergence, while the Tibet accession could better […]

CHIQUITA1 maintains the temporal transition between proliferation and differentiation in Arabidopsis (Development)

Organ size is imperative to biological function. In plants, newly-developing organs start out as a pool of meristematic cells, which set the number of cells in the organ through regulated iterations of cellular division; eventually, these cells transition out of the cell cycle and differentiate, during which they may undergo expansion/elongation. Ultimately, these two phases […]

A research road map for responsible use of agricultural nitrogen (Front. Sustain. Food Syst.)

Recently, the UN Environment Programme identified excessive reactive nitrogen (N) resulting from anthropogenic activity as one of the five emerging threats facing our planet. Much of this derives from agricultural practices in which N fertilizers are inefficiently applied to crops, a significant proportion of N being lost to surrounding environments. Udvardi et al. outline a […]

Plant scientists’ research attention is skewed towards colourful, conspicuous and broadly distributed flowers (Nature Plants)

Chicana feminist writer Cherríe Moraga wrote in her anthology This Bridge Called My Back, with regards to the necessary inclusion of women of color in contemporary progressive politics: “It is not always a matter of the actual bodies in the room, but of a life dedicated to a growing awareness of who and what is […]

Review: Functional morphology of plants – a key to biomimetic applications (New Phytol.)

Humans have derived inspiration from innumerable corners of the natural world. Plants of diverse forms have inspired many “biomimetics,” or technical products derived from biological models. Speck and Speck review how plant-based biomimetics have developed over time and elaborate on their current use. An interesting perspective from this review is the generalization of the biomimetic […]

Innovation, conservation, and repurposing of gene function in root cell type development (Cell)

Plants demonstrate a gorgeous diversity in cell types to adapt to their unique environments. Certain cell types, such as the epidermal, cortex, and vascular cells within plant roots, or the classically-defined root developmental zones (meristematic, elongation, and maturation), are homologous in angiosperms. However, how tightly they are conserved across species is unknown. To give insight […]