Entries by Humberto Herrera-Ubaldo

teosinte branched1 and the control of bud dormancy and growth in maize (Nature Comms)

Branching has a significant impact on plant architecture. Maize, a domesticated species, has lower branching levels in comparison to its wild ancestor teosinte. Axillary branching is the result of lateral buds growth. Some factors such as phytohormones and transport of sugars are related to bud activation/dormancy and hence branching. In a recent paper, Dong et […]

Coordination of circadian times in Arabidopsis seedlings (PLOS Biol)

Precise temporal control is crucial for plant developmental processes, e.g., photosynthesis, leaf movement, and flowering. In this work, Greenwood et al. studied how rhythms are coordinated at the whole-organism level. The authors monitored the activity of GIGANTEA (GI), a core clock gene, using a LUCIFERASE reporter gene in Arabidopsis seedlings. GI:LUC expression showed different peaks […]

Review: Developmental thermal responses in Arabidopsis (Plant Physiol.)

Plants can modify their growth in response to environmental challenges. In a recent review, Vu et al. summarize the molecular mechanisms underlying high temperature responses during the Arabidopsis life cycle. At early stages, high temperature promotes abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis and decreases gibberellic acid biosynthesis, resulting in germination inhibition. The effect of high ambient temperature […]

Opinion: Towards lowering crop N requirement (Plant Cell Environ)

Current and future food production demands a lot of nitrogen (N) fertilizers. Inefficient N fertilization leads to N losses to the environment and generates greenhouse gases that cause environmental problems. In a recent article, Swarbreck and colleagues discuss a strategy to develop crop varieties with low N requirement; this approach would need strong collaboration between […]

Review: Methods to quantify primary plant cell wall mechanics ( J. Exp. Bot)

Plant growth and morphogenesis are linked to cell wall properties, so a deep understanding of cell wall biochemistry and mechanics is essential for studying plant development. In a recent review, Bidhendi and Geitmann describe current and emerging techniques for the analysis of cell wall mechanics. Classic techniques involve the application of a force (stretching, compression, […]

Review: Synthetic biology in photosynthetic microbes: present and future (Plant Physiol)

Photosynthetic microbes are emerging models for synthetic biology applications since they possess relatively simple physiology and cellular organization, fast growth in liquid culture, and facile genetic manipulation. In this paper, Vavitsas et al. review current synthetic biology tools and applications applied to cyanobacteria and algae. Cyanobacteria, such as Synechocystis, Synechococcus or Nostoc, offer excellent features […]

Very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA) are involved in lateral root formation (PNAS)

Root branching determines the spatial organization of the root and its interaction with the soil. The emergence of lateral roots (LR) is controlled by a complex regulatory network, involving genetic, hormonal and mechanical factors. In this study, Trinh et al. got new insights about PUCHI, a transcription factor previously shown to control cell proliferation during […]

Review: Crop breeding technologies to feed the world (Nature Biotech)

The world demands food, plant scientists and breeders have the challenge of feeding a growing population. In a recent review Hickey et al. summarize the state-of-the-art technologies used for crop improvement. In use since 2003, ‘speed breeding’ is a set of improved methods for fast-tracking plant life cycle, using optimal light quality, light intensity, day […]