Entries by Kamal Kumar Malukani

A transient approach reduces the time required for transgene-free gene editing

Gene editing in plants is a time-consuming process. One of the challenges of gene editing is to produce transgene-free plants. The transgenes required to carry out selection and editing, such as antibiotic resistance markers and editing enzymes, must be removed, while the edited part of the genome is retained. This selection generally requires 1-3 generations […]

iFANS 2023: Time to Talk About Nutrition Security

The International Conference on Food And Nutritional Security (iFANS 2023) was held January 6-9, 2023. It was jointly organized with the 5th International Plant Physiology Congress and the 44th annual meeting of the Plant Tissue Culture Association (India). And it was huge. Imagine an event jointly organized by four research institutes and two national-level societies! […]

Updating plant ribosomal protein nomenclature

The ribosome is a macromolecular structure made up of many subunits. The proteins in these subunits were named based on their sedimentation rates and gel mobility, but different groups gave the proteins different names in various species, not based on homology. A ribosomal protein (r-protein) nomenclature system was proposed that indicates the origin of the […]

Staying connected helps plant population fitness

Many animals, including humans, tangibly benefit from living socially. Does this benefit extend to plants? A recent study by Höckerstedt et al. says it does. The authors studied a wild host-pathogen population, Plantago lanceolata, and its obligate powdery mildew pathogen Podosphaera plantaginis in 4000 locations in the Åland islands of Finland. They categorized the populations […]

High humidity compromises plant immunity while promoting pathogen growth (Plant Cell Environ)

Humidity is considered a key component for the growth of fungal plant pathogens. For many infection assays we either maintain plants in high humidity, or wrap the infected area and keep spraying it with water. This is generally performed to facilitate fungal growth and the assumption that this may not have any effect on plant […]

Identification of a cell signaling cascade that regulate s broad-spectrum resistance (Cell Reports)

Many different pathogens attack plants, and many genes have been identified that confer pathogen-specific resistance.  In a recent study, Hao et al. identified a signaling cascade that regulates broad-spectrum disease resistance. This pathway is composed of a rice ubiquitin ligase OsPUB73, a VQ motif-containing protein OsVQ25, and a transcription factor OsWRKY53. As is characteristic of […]

Agarwood harnesses hornets for rapid dispersal of non-dormant seeds (Curr. Biol.)

The seeds of the Agarwood tree (Aquilaria sinensis) lose viability within a few hours of the fruit splitting, so need to reach the ground as soon as possible. Qin et al. report that agarwood achieves this by fooling hornets (Vespa spp.), which generally eat herbivore insects such as caterpillars. When plants are attacked by caterpillars, […]

Removing one wheat protein kinase provides resistance to rust fungi (Cell)

Tolerance against a pathogen can be achieved by either overexpressing a resistance-related gene, or removing a susceptibility-related gene. Overexpression of defense-related genes generally comes with side effects such as decreased growth and yield. On the other hand, a susceptibility factor might have a physiological role and its inactivation may affect agronomic traits. An effective strategy […]