Entries by Brendan OLeary

The Lure of Lignin: Deciphering High-value Lignin Formation in Seed Coats

Lignin is a major functional component of plant secondary cell walls and the second most abundant biological polymer on Earth after cellulose. Understanding the biosynthesis of lignin has huge practical implications because lignin is a major by-product of processes that use cellulosic biomass for industrial purposes, such as bioethanol production. To increase the overall efficiency […]

Feasting While Fasting: How Autophagy Helps Maize Survive Carbon Starvation

Most macro-molecular components of plant cells (e.g., proteins, lipids, and even entire organelles) are subject to an ongoing process of recycling to both rejuvenate aging structures and optimize the allocation of cellular nutrients. A major recycling route is autophagy, which occurs under normal conditions but becomes especially prevalent when nutrients become scarce, such as during […]