Entries by Katy Dunning

Plant synthetic promoters to fine tune expression of engineered genes (bioRxiv)

Synthetic genetic circuits allow the reconstruction of metabolic pathways in plant systems for production of many natural products including pharmaceuticals. A challenge in genetic engineering these circuits is precisely and predictably regulating gene expression, especially when genes may be desired in different ratios for optimal throughput. This research into minimal synthetic promoters (MinSyns) by Cai […]

Fungal antagonism of Arabidopsis oomycete infection requires a previously uncharacterized secreted hydrolase (bioRxiv)

Antagonist interactions between microbes of the phyllosphere stabilize the microbiome and some “hub” organisms can exert strong effects on community structure. The yeast family Ustilaginales contains several apathogenic species that are microbial antagonists that can inhibit infection from diverse bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. This study by Eitzen et al. investigates the role of the […]

Master regulator of gene expression in plant defense upregulates its own transcription (Plant Physiol.)

NPR1 (NONEXPRESSER OF PR GENES1) is a master regulator that controls expression of over 2000 genes during plant defense. NPR1 interacts with transcription factors to activate expression of defense genes, but the mechanism is poorly understood. Chen et al. determined that in the presence of salicylic acid NPR1 recruits both CDK8 (CYCLIN-DEPENDENT KINASE8) and WRKY18 […]

Interplay between phosphorylation and ubiquitination is key for regulating reactive oxygen species during plant immunity (Nature Comms)

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential secondary messengers for rapid transmission of local and long-distance signalling in plants. Respiratory oxidase homologs (RBOHs) are the family of enzymes in plants that produce extracellular ROS, with RBOHD being the primary oxidase in Arabidopsis for ROS production following pathogen perception. Positive regulation of RBOHD by activating phosphorylation is […]

Using CRISPR/Cas9 editing to inactivate an endogenous virus impacting bananas (Commun. Biol.)

Banana streak virus (BSV) is a plant pathogenic pararetrovirus that has integrated into the genome of banana Musa spp., reducing crop production. When BSV-infected banana plants become stressed, BSV reactivates to create functional infectious viruses that can cause lethal tissue necrosis. Tripathi et al. used CRISPR/Cas9 to inactivate endogenous BSV, preventing plants from becoming symptomatic […]