Entries by Celine Caseys

Attract or Defend: The CYP-associated Versatility of Terpenoids

Floral scent, a blend of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), is a communication signal central to plant interactions. For example, VOCs attract pollinators when flowers are opened (Muhleman et al., 2015). However, some plants do not cross-pollinate and depend less on VOCs. Flowers are fragile structures with fewer physical barriers than other plant tissues, which can […]

A Plant Metabolon Efficiently Mass-produces Phytochemical Defenses

When plants are under attack, they activate defense programs including the biosynthesis of chemical defense compounds. The biosynthesis of these phytochemicals has to occur rapidly and represents a major sink of nutrients and amino acids. How plants optimize the mass production of chemical weapons remains largely unknown. One efficient way to produce these compounds is […]

The bracteatus pineapple genome and domestication of clonally propagated crops (OA) (Nature Genetics)

You probably know well the sweet and yellow “smooth cayenne” pineapple (Ananas comosus). This fruit was domesticated a few millennia ago in South America. Pineapple domestication targeted fiber production, color, and sugar accumulation. How it happened remained mysterious. To resolve this mystery, Chen et al. resequenced 89 accessions of these clonal plants. They found a domestication […]

Loss-of-Function, a Strategy for Adaptation in Arabidopsis

When thinking about adaptive processes, the concept of genetic innovation comes to mind. At the genomic scale, a lot of attention has been given to gene introgression, duplication, and novel functionalization to uncover the bases of adaptation. However, as the majority of genes are non-essential, both the gain and loss of genetic information can help […]

Ferroptosis: A companion of ROS in fighting Magnaporthe in rice

Invasion of plant tissues by pathogens is well known to activate localized reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and cell death.  However, the sources of ROS production and their role in triggering cell death are enigmatic. A recent study by Dangol et al. (2018) shows that, in rice (Oryza sativa), immunity-associated ROS production and cell death […]

Modulation of Resistance Genes: Two Paths to Alternaria Resistance in Apple

Apple (Malus x domestica) is a major fruit crop worldwide that faces production losses due to many pathogens. Among them, Alternaria alternata is a fungal pathogen that causes necrotic leaf spots (see Figure), defoliation, and moldy fruit cores and constitutes a serious threat to orchards. Different strains of the pathogen with varying pathogenicity and host […]

Regulatory Divergence in the Stress Response of Tomato

Humans have domesticated crops for thousand of years by artificially selecting plants for numerous traits including morphology, lower toxicity or higher yield. As a result, plant domestication often altered plant fitness and resistance to stress under controlled conditions (Meyer & Purugganan 2013). Typically, in tomato the fruit size was improved at the cost of plant […]