Entries by Jiawen Chen

Working towards your goals one step at a time: An interview with Plant Physiology monitoring editor Alistair McCormick

By Jiawen Chen, PhD, Plant Physiology Assistant Features Editor Alistair McCormick is a Professor in Plant Engineering Biology at the University of Edinburgh (UK). He obtained his PhD at the University of KwaZulu Natal (South Africa), where he worked on sink regulation of photosynthesis in sugarcane, with Derek Watt and Michael Cramer. After postdocs in […]

Circadian regulation of the transcriptome in a complex polyploid crop (PLoS Biol)

Circadian regulation fine-tunes patterns of gene expression in plants in changing environments and has been selected for during crop domestication. Many studies have been done on circadian gene expression in Arabidopsis, but far less is known about this regulation in hexaploid bread wheat, especially on how it is balanced across its three subgenomes. Here, Rees […]

The CLP and PREP protease systems coordinate maturation and degradation of the chloroplast proteome in Arabidopsis thaliana (New Phytol.)

The ATP-dependent CLP chaperone-protease system is a crucial part of the peptidase network required to maintain proteostasis in the Arabidopsis chloroplast. Its substrates include misfolded and aggregated proteins of any size, and it is essential for plant growth and development. PREP1,2 peptidases are also part of this network but degrade small proteins and peptides such […]

Review: Deep origin and gradual evolution of transporting tissues: Perspectives from across the land plants (Plant Physiol)

The development of vascular plants (tracheophytes) was a major innovation during the evolution of land plants. The classic view is that the evolution of transporting tissues is distinct to tracheophytes, but Woudenberg and Renema et al. discuss an alternative hypothesis where this was a gradual process that is already seen in bryophytes. The authors propose […]

Systematic characterization of gene function in the photosynthetic alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Nature Genetics)

The green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a useful model system to study photosynthetic organisms, as this single-celled species allows for more high-throughput methods than in multicellular plants, and many conserved pathways of interest can be identified. Here, Fauser et al. demonstrate the value of these methods in a phenotypic screen of a previously generated barcoded […]

Xylan-based nanocompartments orchestrate plant vessel wall patterning (Nature Plants)

Xylem vessels have a distinct secondary cell wall (SCW) formation, where the metaxylem stage contains a characteristic pit pattern. The hemicellulose xylan is an important component of the SCW, functioning as a crosslinking polymer that coats cellulose microfibrils and interacts with other SCW components. However, the xylan initiation mechanism was unknown. Here, Wang et al. […]

A dominant mutation in β-AMYLASE1 disrupts nighttime control of starch degradation in Arabidopsis leaves (Plant Physiol)

Plants use starch in leaf chloroplasts to fuel their growth and metabolism during the night. In Arabidopsis, nighttime starch degradation is tightly regulated; the degradation rate is linear and adjusts to both the availability of starch and length of night, so that most but not all the starch is used up by dawn. The rate, […]

Carbon flux through photosynthesis and central carbon metabolism show distinct patterns between algae, C3, and C4 plants (Nature Plants)

Photosynthesis is an attractive target for improving crop yields, and tailoring downstream photosynthesis-associated metabolism is a relatively unexplored path for achieving this. Chlorella ohadii is the fastest growing photosynthetic organism identified, has high photosynthetic rates, and can survive extreme illumination levels. Here, Treves et al. show how higher metabolic flux in C. ohadii could explain […]

Suppression of MYC transcription activators by the immune cofactor NPR1 fine-tunes plant immune responses (Cell Reports)

In Arabidopsis, NONEXPRESSOR OF PR GENES 1 (NPR1) plays an important role in the antagonistic crosstalk of salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) signalling. It activates SA-induced genes that protect against biotrophic pathogens and suppresses JA-induced genes that protect against necrotrophic pathogens. The biotrophic Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato overcomes the plant’s SA-induced immune response […]