Entries by Julia Miller

Review: Transposable elements have role in aluminum resistance (J Exp Bot)

Phytotoxic aluminum can drastically harm plant roots, leading to decreased nutrient uptake, water absorption and yields. Many plant species efflux organic anions into the rhizosphere to reduce the toxic effects of aluminum. Some of the genes that encode transporter proteins which mediate organic anion release contain transposable elements in the coding sequences or in flanking […]

NRT1.1 involved in balance between NH4+ uptake and assimilation ($) (Plant Physiol)

Ammonium (NH4+) is an inorganic nitrogen source that is the preferred source for some plant species (e.g., rice and tea) but can be toxic in high amounts. The nitrate transporter NRT1.1 is involved in mediating the effects of toxic NH4+, as well as functioning in NO3– and auxin transport, NO3– signaling and stomatal movement. But the role […]

Review – Getting to the Roots: A Developmental Genetic View of Root Anatomy and Function From Arabidopsis to Lycophytes (Frontiers in Plant Sci)

Plant roots are essential organs for water and nutrient uptake, and aboveground biomass support. While these organs are important for many plant functions, the evolutionary history of the root is still unclear. The fossil record suggests that roots evolved in both the lycophyte (clubmosses and their allies) and the euphyllophyte (ferns and seed plants) lineages. […]

The Arabidopsis negative regulator of root hydraulics XND1 is involved in abiotic and biotic stress responses  (Nature Comm.)

Proper uptake and management of water is essential for plant growth and adaptation to stress. However, there are gaps in the understanding of the genetics of root hydraulics, including the regulatory components. Tang et al. used a genome-wide associate analysis approach to identify XYLEM NAC DOMAIN 1 (XND1), a key negative regulator of Arabidopsis root hydraulics. XND1 modulates root […]

Functional-structural plant modeling to understand species mixtures (J Exp Bot)

Mixing different plant species in a single field increases productivity by exploiting species complementarities for capturing resources (i.e. water, nutrients, sunlight). Both competition avoidance responses and individual organ accommodations to the changing environment  contribute to this complementarity. However, modelling is needed to further understand the drivers and dynamics of these complementary-based productivity increases. In this […]

Plant sex regions can “jump” in strawberry (PLOS Biol.)

Sex chromosome restructure has happened frequently during the evolution of eukaryotes, often resulting in highly differentiated sex chromosomes. However, little is known about this process in plants. The wild North American octoploid strawberries (Fragaria) have separate sexes with homomorphic, female heterogametic (ZW) inheritance. However, “sex” maps to three different chromosomes in different taxa. Tennessen and […]

SNARE proteins in replication vesicle trafficking of turnip mosaic virus ($) (Plant Cell)

When plant cells are infected by RNA viruses, viral replication complexes are generated in organelle-like structures. These vesicles are important for the replication of viral RNA (vRNA) as well as moving vRNA-protein complexes through plasmodesmata to infect other plant cells. When turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) infects Nicotiana benthamiana, the viral membrane protein 6K2 has an […]

Genetic components of water use efficiency in the model grass Setaria

Increasing water use efficiency is important for improving crop yields in diverse environments. This has been difficult due to the complex morphological and biochemical processes involved in water use and plant growth. Feldman and colleagues use a high-throughput phenotyping platform to monitor an interspecific Setaria italica x Setaria viridis recombinant inbred line population under water […]

Roles of N-terminal acetylation and N-terminal acetyltransferases in plants (J. Exp. Bot.)

N-terminal acetylation is a common protein modification completed by ribosome-associated N-terminal acetyltransferases (NATs) or plastid-localized NATs. The recent discovery of the plastid-localized NATs upended the traditional model of static, co-translational imprinting of the plant proteome. These dynamic changes, currently not identified in other eukaryotes, could be due to the sessile habit of plants. NTAs have […]