Entries by Humberto Herrera-Ubaldo

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 […]

Review: Methods to visualize elements in plants (Plant Physiol)

Plant Science Research Weekly: February 14 February 14, 2020/in Blog, WWR Full Post /by Mary Williams Review: Deep learning for plant genomics and crop improvement One of the goals of plant science is to use the molecular phenotype (genome, transcriptome, proteome) to predict the whole-plant phenotype. Deep learning approaches can potentially begin to do this, […]

AuxSen: a biosensor for direct visualization of auxin (bioRxiv)

Auxins participate in nearly every aspect of plants’ life cycle, but the information about the actual distribution of this hormone is scarce. The location of the hormone has been inferred using reporters based on auxin-transcriptional responses or auxin-dependent degradation signals. For a direct visualization, Herud-Sikimic and colleagues developed AuxSen: a genetically encoded, reversible biosensor for in […]

A practical guide for fluorophore selection for FRET experiments in plants (Plant Direct)

Protein-protein interactions modulate the activities of many proteins, i.e., the signaling specificity of Receptor-like kinases (RLK). Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) allows the study of the dynamics of protein-protein interactions in live plants; this technique is based on energy transfer from a fluorescent donor to an acceptor fluorophore. There are many fluorophore pairs available for FRET […]

Review: Design and engineering of advanced plant optogenetics systems (TIPS)

Review: Design and engineering of advanced plant optogenetics systems Optogenetics uses light-sensitive proteins to trigger specific outputs in the cell in response to particular wavelengths of light. Many optogenetic systems use chimeric proteins that contain different sensor and effector domains; with this, it is possible to use light to modulate DNA-binding activity, gene expression, or […]

Review: An evolutionary history of genes controlling carpel development (COPB)

Carpels, the female reproductive structures in angiosperms, are the most complex organs in plants. Most of the current knowledge about the molecular mechanism underlying carpel development derives from Arabidopsis. In a new review, Becker summarizes recent studies about the reconstruction of ancestral carpels. Through phylogeny analysis, the lineages of genes and modules within the Arabidopsis […]