Entries by Benjamin Jin

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 […]