Entries by Josh Strable

Gains in Grain Yield: A Pair of Spikelets Makes All the Difference, Even When One is Sterile

Mother Nature has a way of keeping seemingly useless structures around millions of years. Such structures are likely to have a use that is not obvious, although they could also be remnants of the evolutionary past without extant function, or non-functional but harmless byproducts of a different adaptive feature. In a fascinating study, first authors […]

Sugars Inform the Circadian Clock How to Shape Rice Shoots via the Strigolactone Pathway

Circadian clocks act as universal timekeepers to harmonize internal processes with external day-night rhythms. Genetic feedback loops gear these inner clocks by approximating time in response to dawn-dusk cycles. In plants, development, growth, hormone action, metabolism and other downstream events are crucially synchronized with the clock (Greenham and McClung, 2015). How the clock shapes plant […]

Peptide-Receptor Signaling Pumps the Brakes on Auxin Biosynthesis and Ethylene Signaling to Harmonize Root Growth and Nodulation

Nitrogen (N) is the most abundant element in Earth’s atmosphere. However, plants must capture this essential element from soil through their roots. To do this, legume roots forge symbioses with rhizobia to initiate nodule development. Root nodules provide rhizobia an environment suitable for converting N2 into ammonia. When N is limiting, legumes must balance energetic […]

Activate, Breakdown, Branch Out: CUC2/3-DA1-UBP15 Controls Axillary Meristem Initiation

Shoot architecture is a key ecological and agricultural trait that impacts biomass, the potential to harvest light, planting density, and the reproductive success of a plant. Branching is a prominent feature of plant shoot architecture. A shoot branch develops from an axillary bud, which is located in the axil of a leaf, i.e., between the […]