Entries by Julia Miller

Food for thought: How nutrients regulate root system architecture (Current Opinion in Plant Biology)

The arrangement of a plant’s root system in the soil (root system architecture, RSA) changes in response to nutrients through different signaling pathways. It is assumed that RSA adapts to optimize the uptake of nutrients from the environment, but strong evidence is still lacking. This review by Shahzad and Amtmann discusses the signaling pathways that […]

Colour bio-factories: Towards scale-up production of anthocyanins in plant cell cultures (Metabolic Engineering)

Anthocyanins are common plant pigments that provide dietary benefits, leading to an increase in their use as food coloring agents. However, purifying anthocyanins from current plant sources (such as waste grape skins, red cabbage, and berries) is expensive and creates a variable product. Modifying biosynthetic and regulatory genes of anthocyanins can drastically increase anthocyanin production […]

The role of ER stress-depending autophagy under phosphate deprivation (Plant Physiol)

In the Brassicaceae, inorganic phosphate (Pi) deprivation modifies root system architecture to favor Pi foraging, through the inhibition of primary root growth and the stimulation of lateral root growth. Root growth inhibition is triggered by Fe-stimulated ROS generation and cell wall modifications, which cause ER stress and could induce autophagy. Autophagy is a process that […]

Structural motifs of D3-D14 ubiquitin ligase in strigolactone signaling (Nature)

Strigalactones are phytohormones that regulate plant growth and development processes. The α/β hydrolase D14 (metabolizes strigolactone) interacts with the F-box protein D3 to ubiquitinate and degrade the transcription repressor D53. This process inhibits shoot branching. However, it is still unknown how D14 interacts with D3 to mediate hormone-dependent D53 ubiquitination. Shabek and colleagues show that […]

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 […]