Entries by Jennifer Lockhart

Clipping Chlamy Genes: Improved Methods for Targeted Gene Editing in Chlamydomonas

A beam of sunlight sends Chlamydomonas reinhardtii scrambling. This tiny, biflagellate alga senses light with its eyespot and adjusts its movements accordingly, depending on photosynthetic needs. In the eyespot, a membranous structure of reddish, carotenoid-filled granules that reflect light and two photoreceptors orchestrate the light guidance of the alga. Two well-characterized photoreceptors, channelrhodopsin 1 (ChR1) […]

Chasing Scattered Genes: Identifying Specialized Metabolite Pathway Genes through Global Co-expression Analysis

Plants produce scores of specialized metabolites (SMs) to attract or repel the organisms around them and to cope with life in a variable environment. For thousands of years, we have been exploiting these compounds to feed, heal, and adorn us. Many more SMs remain to be discovered: the chemical constituents of only 15% of the […]

Family Chores: TRAF-Family Proteins Help Recycle Cellular Rubbish by Regulating Autophagy Dynamics

IN BRIEF by Jennifer Lockhart jlockhart@aspb.org Plant cell components that are no longer needed are degraded in the vacuole, but they don’t get there by magic. Sack-like double-membrane structures called autophagosomes engulf this cellular rubbish and neatly transport it to the vacuole for degradation. Autophagy, a highly conserved process orchestrated by a suite of evolutionarily […]