Entries by Gregory Bertoni

A Partnership for ABA Responses

The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) regulates a variety of processes in plants including seed dormancy, seedling growth, and response to environmental stresses. A fascinating study by Ni et al. (2018) shows that ABA responses in rice are regulated by an interaction between the DMI3 kinase, which activates ABA responses, and the PP45 phosphatase, which inhibits […]

Assembling a Nanomolecular Power Station

The ATP synthase complex of chloroplasts is an elegant example of the union of structure and function at the molecular level (Junge and Nelson, 2015). This enzyme complex consists of an integral membrane CFo component that transports protons and an extrinsic CF1 component that synthesizes ATP (Hahn et al., 2018). CFo uses the potential energy […]

Pentapeptide Protection of Botrytis-Infected Tomato by Phytosulfokine

Fungal pathogens such as Botrytis cinerea can cause devastating losses to agricultural crops – ask any strawberry, grape, or tomato grower. To prevent these losses, plants can summon a variety of immune responses by recognizing specific molecules associated with pathogen attack and/or internal damage. Pathogen damage to host tissues can result in production of endogenous […]

Cell Cycle Regulation by Chlamydomonas Cyclin-Dependent Protein Kinases

Cyclins and cyclin-dependent protein kinases (CDKs) are critical regulators of cell cycle progression. Although CDK1 is essential for mitosis in animals and fungi, CDKA, the plant and algal ortholog of CDK1, is not essential for cell division in Arabidopsis (Nowack et al., 2012). By contrast, CDKB is a plant-specific CDK. The high level of whole-genome […]

Blue Light Perception via Chlorochrome? — Give Us the Greens of Summer

What do photosynthesis, neonatal jaundice, and a next-generation solar cell have in common? All involve tetrapyrroles, complex molecules with four linked pyrrole rings, each ring containing one nitrogen and four carbon atoms. Tetrapyrroles exist in either cyclic or linear form and have a wide variety of biological functions (Tanaka and Tanaka, 2007; Brzezowski, et al., […]

An Emerging Model Diatom to Study Nitrogen Metabolism

Carbon and nitrogen metabolism are intricately linked in all organisms and are tightly regulated to maintain growth, homeostasis, and other cellular activities. In plants and algae, photosynthesis provides both carbon skeletons and the reductant needed for assimilation of inorganic NO3¯ by nitrate reductase (NR). NR catalyzes the conversion of nitrate (NO3¯) to nitrite (NO2¯), which […]

Threonine Phosphorylation Regulates Polar Localization of the Boric Acid Transporter NIP5;1 in Root Cells

IN BRIEF by Gregory Bertoni gbertoni@aspb.org Proper localization of proteins in the plasma membrane is critical for proper functioning of plant cells, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood (Łangowski et al, 2016). This is especially true for transporter proteins that move necessary nutrients into and out of cells and organelles. For example, proper polar […]