Entries by Facundo Romani

Alternative usage of miRNA-biogenesis co-factors in plants at low temperatures (Development)

As in animals, plants produce microRNAs that are also key developmental regulators. Unlike some animals, plants are more exposed to environmental factors that alter cellular processes. Ré et al. show here that phenotypic defects produced by loss-of-function mutations in key proteins of Arabidopsis miRNA biogenesis machinery, such as SERRATE (SE) and HYPONASTIC LEAVES 1 (HYL1), […]

Arabidopsis FLL2 promotes liquid–liquid phase separation of polyadenylation complexes ($) (Nature)

The nucleus of plants cells, like other eukaryotes, is full of non-membranous compartments separated by liquid-liquid phases. These complexes are often called nuclear bodies and concentrate proteins and nucleic acids. Disordered protein domains play a critical in their formation. Here, Fang et al. aimed to study the function of FCA, an Arabidopsis protein required for […]

Chromatin signature and transcription factor binding provide a predictive basis for understanding plant gene expression (Plant Cell Physiol)

Machine learning is a booming research field, also in Plant Science. Here, Wu et al. use chromatin modifications and transcription factors to predict transcription levels in Arabidopsis and rice. This is not only important for prediction but also to understand the mechanisms underlying epigenetic regulation. For chromatin modifications, they studied the combinatorial effect of histone […]

Control of proliferation in the haploid meristem by CLE peptide signaling in Marchantia polymorpha (PLOS Genetics)

The peptide/hormones CLE (CLAVATA3/EMBRYO SURROUNDING REGION-related) and their receptors are a fascinating cell signal system that regulates meristems activity in angiosperms and is crucial for the establishment of 3D forms. How this system works in bryophytes is very relevant to understand its evolution in plants that develop different body plans. Differently to the moss Physcomitrella […]

Convergent gene loss in aquatic plants predicts new components of plant immunity and drought response (bioRxiv)

Plants transitioned from water to land around 450 Million years ago. Since their emergence onto land, there have been at least a few reversion events to aquatic environments (e.g., duckweed, humped bladderwort). These big evolutionary events imply adaptation to completely different kinds of biotic and abiotic stresses, requiring many genetic innovations and gene-losses. Here, Baggs […]

Root branching is not induced by auxins in Selaginella moellendorffii (Front Plant Sci)

Auxin is crucial for root development across angiosperms. All the auxin signal transduction pathway components are conserved in land plants, but their role is still not completely clear in early diverged lineages. Here, Fang et al. present a comprehensive analysis of exogenous auxin addition and polar transport inhibitor effects in the root development of Selaginella […]

Site-specific manipulation of Arabidopsis loci using CRISPR-Cas9 SunTag systems (Nature Comms)

Steve Jacobsen’s group has been developing a broad range of synthetic biology tools to interrogate DNA-methylation in plants (see Gallego-Bartolomé et al., 2018, and Gallego-Bartolomé et al., 2019). Among them, they use the CRISPR-Cas9 SunTag system, in which the dCas9 protein is fused to SunTag, a repetitive peptide epitope. In combination with a guide RNA, […]

Identification of novel inhibitors of auxin-induced Ca2+ signaling via a plant-based chemical screen (Plant Physiol)

Plants can adjust their shape, size and number of organs, grow according to gravity and light, and regenerate damaged tissues, through the action of the plant hormone auxin. Another versatile signal comes from Ca2+, which is a crucial second messenger for many cellular processes during responses to a wide range of endogenous and environmental signals. […]

Light regulates plant alternative splicing through the control of transcriptional elongation (Mol Plant)

Light perception in plants generates a plethora of gene expression changes. Among them, it has been shown that light affects alternative splicing mediated by a chloroplast retrograde signal. Here, Godoy Herz et al. explore the different possible mechanisms possible involved in this regulation. Using either pharmacological inhibitors or an Arabidopsis mutant in histone deacetylation, they […]