Entries by Julia Miller

Review: Accumulation of plant volatile organic compounds

Plant glandular trichomes can store and secrete great amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are important for a variety of processes, from development to interacting with herbivores. VOCs accumulate in specific extracellular spaces which can be subcuticular or intercellular. The active transport of VOCs from the location of biosynthesis to the storage cavity across […]

Arabidopsis perfusion platform RootChip reveals local adaptations of roots

Roots are essential plant organs that need to respond and adapt to dynamic environments. It is still unknown if these adaptations are based on systemic or cell-based responses.  Stanley and colleagues created the dual-flow-RootChip, a platform for the heterogeneous perfusion of Arabidopsis roots to investigate the interactions between roots and the environment. They show that […]

Modeling guard cell-to-leaf scales with OnGuard2

While much is known about the processes involved in stomatal movement and the processes involved in the transpiration of leaves, there has been no framework to bridge this micro-macro divide. Wang and colleagues bridge this divide through OnGuard2, a quantitative systems platform that uses the molecular mechanisms of the guard cell (ion transport, metabolism, signaling) […]

Review: The responses of root system architecture to nutrients

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 […]

Expression and purification of unstable proteins using an ASK-assisted system

Ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation is important in many plant processes (growth, development, responses to stress) but little is known about F-box proteins, a key component of the SCF (SKP1-CUL1-F-box protein) E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, due to their unstable protein structures. Li et al. investigated the use of ASK1 (Arabidopsis SKP1-like1, which binds to SCF E3 ubiquitin […]

A plant protein structure from the MATE family, an important family of transporters ($)

The MATE (multidrug and toxic compound extrusion) family is found in all three domains of life. Proteins in this family are secondary transporters, functioning as sodium or proton/organic cation antiporters. This family has diverse functions in plants, including vacuolar sequestration of alkaloids, regulation of local auxin biosynthesis, iron uptake and aluminum tolerance. While the crystal structures […]

My experiences as a PlantingScience mentor

PlantingScience is an online mentoring program that virtually connects scientists with junior high or high school students as they participate in inquiry-based activities with plants. Mentors commit to an hour or so per week over roughly two to four weeks, during which they respond to student questions and help them design and interpret their experiments. […]