Entries by Julia Miller

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 […]

Paint the tobacco red: Anthocyanin production in tobacco cells lines

Anthocyanins are common plant pigments that provide dietary benefits, causing an increase in their use as a 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 […]

Co-expression networks for strawberry flower and fruit development

The diploid strawberry (Fragaria vesca) is a useful model system for understanding non-climacteric ripening and seed-to-fruit cross-tissues communication. Previously, spatial and temporal transcriptome data from the strawberry fruit and flowers was generated. Shahan and colleagues combine the transcriptome data with new RNA-seq libraries to create co-expression networks. They used post-hoc consensus clustering approach and bootstrapping […]

Review: Applying synthetic biology and genetic engineering to photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is a complex process that has the potential to be greatly improved through human modifications. However, these modifications have been limited by two main factors: the high degree of conservation of the components, and the multiprotein complexes that require specifically modified proteins from different cellular compartments. Nevertheless, the light reactions of photosynthesis are exciting […]

How to identify the substrates of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters (Plant Physiol)

Plant genomes encode many ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, which mediate the transport of many different substrates involved in development, nutrition and stress responses. Mutants and transgenic plants have been used to understand the in planta roles, yet the identity of substrates transported by many ABC proteins remain unknown. Since these proteins are able to transport […]

Calcium-mediated ABA signaling negatively regulated by CBL-CIPK system in guard cells (Plant Physiol.)

Abscisic acid (ABA) plays a critical role in the opening and closing of the stomatal pore. This stomatal movement is essential for homeostasis, photosynthesis and stress responses. An influx of calcium ions and an increase the cytoplasmic calcium concentration of the guard cells are an early event in ABA signaling. It is not clear what […]