Entries by Humberto Herrera-Ubaldo

Measuring the physical-chemical effects of osmotic stress in living cells (bioRxiv)

The osmotic state of a cell is affected by internal (metabolite content) and external (water availability) factors. Recent work by Cuevas-Velazquez and colleagues describes the design of a FRET-based biosensor that allows dynamic monitoring of osmotic stress in living cells. They exploited features of AtLEA4-5, an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) from Arabidopsis. AtLEA4-5 is highly […]

Review: La vie en roses, lilies, and other flowers: the floral microbiome (Annu. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst.)

Beyond their beautiful colors, fragrances and shapes, flowers also can host a great variety of life forms. A diverse community of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and other organisms live in the flowers. A recent work by Rachel Vannette summarizes the current studies about the floral microbiome, highlighting its importance at the ecological and evolutionary level. The […]

Lipid distribution in cuticles affects flower architecture in Medicago (Plant Physiol.)

Floral architecture influences pollination and reproduction: open flowers facilitate cross-pollination, while closed flowers limit outcross. Some plants of the Leguminosae family (i.e., members of the Papilionoideae subfamily that includes soybean, pea, medicago, lotus) possess a complex architecture, with fused reproductive organs that make controlled pollination and breeding very difficult. In a recent study, Zhu, Li, […]

Ancient seeds reconstruction and the evolution of integuments (New Phytologist)

The origin of seeds – the specialized structures that contain and protect the developing embryos- is a key event in plant evolution. Primitive seeds comprise an exposed nucellus surrounded by a lobate integument; in contrast, extant seeds have one or more integuments fully enclosing the nucellus. To understand the evolution of integuments, Meade and colleagues […]

Plant Science Research Weekly: July 24

Guest Editor: Humberto Herrera-Ubaldo   Humberto is a postdoctoral Fellow at the de Folter Lab, in CINVESTAV-Irapuato (Mexico). He holds a PhD in Plant Biotechnology. During his career, he has focussed on the study of transcription factors guiding gynoecium and fruit development in Arabidopsis. His current work is aimed in the understanding of the physical […]

Modulation of gene expression in plants with orthogonal regulatory systems (Nat. Chem. Biol.)

Some of the most promising applications in synthetic biology need precise control of gene expression. For instance, metabolic engineering in plants requires the expression of enzyme-coding genes at a precise time, space, and quantity to ensure correct output. Recently, Belcher, Vuu, and colleagues engineered an orthogonal system (that does not interfere with other cellular processes) […]

Meltome atlas: revealing protein thermal stability across the tree of life (Nature Methods)

Environmental cues can affect the structure and function of proteins. To get broad empirical information about the effect of temperature on protein stability, Jarzab, Kurzawa, Hopf et al. generated an atlas of proteome thermal stability across 13 model organisms, including bacteria, yeast, worm, fish, fly, plant, mouse and human. After heating cells or lysates, the […]

Understanding Evening Complex activity (PNAS)

Processes like photosynthesis and growth follow a well-defined rhythm driven by a 24-h internal clock that is controlled by three principal interacting transcription–translation feedback loops: the morning, central, and evening loops. The Evening Complex (EC), which is active at the end of the day, participates in the transcriptional repression of the morning loop genes. In […]

MicroRNAs and the control of stomatal development (PNAS)

Stomata mediate critical functions in plant life: gas exchange, water loss, and some environmental responses. At the molecular level, some bHLH transcription factors and a MAP-kinase pathway control a series of asymmetric and symmetric cell divisions of stomatal stem cells to form a guard cell. In a recent study Zhu et al. explored the implication of microRNAs […]